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California prepares to increase minimum wage to $15 for 2022

Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed the increase into law in 2016 and gave businesses five years to prepare for the change. File Photo by FotograFFF/Shutterstock
Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed the increase into law in 2016 and gave businesses five years to prepare for the change. File Photo by FotograFFF/Shutterstock

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The minimum wage for many California workers will rise to $15 per hour on Jan. 1, more than twice the federal minimum.

The state minimum wage will apply to businesses with 26 or more employees.

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Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed the increase into law in 2016 and gave businesses five years to prepare for the change.

Some business owners said that they welcomed the change because it benefited their employees.

"For too long, the restaurant industry has put employees last," said Karter Louis, CEO of Soul Pizza in Oakland, according to Capitol Weekly. "A low-wage model that has proven short-sighted and unsustainable."

According to the Pew Research Center, some California cities have already enacted ordinances pushing wages over $15 per hour. Emeryville, a suburb of San Francisco, requires businesses to offer a $16.84 wage.

Joining California with minimum wage increases on Jan. 1 are Illinois ($12), Delaware ($10.50), Virginia ($11), New Jersey ($13) and New Mexico ($11.50).

Florida is one of the latest states to raise its minimum above the federal standard of $7.25. Last year, voters in the state agreed to gradually raise to the minimum to $15 by 2026.

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