RICHMOND, Calif., June 4 (UPI) -- The City Council of Richmond, California, has voted to increase its minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2018 and attach the number to inflation thereafter.
The wage will be the highest in California unless another municipality approves a higher one prior to 2018.
Businesses in Richmond that pay for less than 800 billable hours per two weeks will be exempt from the higher wage but will still be held to California's $8 rate. Business owners who see more than half of their points of sale outside of Richmond will pay an "intermediate wage" halfway between the city and state minimums.
Richmond City Councilman Jim Rogers pushed for the exemptions, but still opposes the measure.
"The argument that we should do it simply is simply wrong," Rogers told Inside Bay Area. "Business have said they will leave."
The first wage hike in Richmond will be to $9.60 on Jan. 1 2015, followed by $11.52 in 2016, $12.30 in 2017, and $13 in 2018. After 2018, the city's minimum wage will increase with inflation.
San Francisco currently has the highest minimum wage in California at $10.74 per hour.