Over the past few months, facing a push for $15/hour for the City of Sacramento, the Sacramento Metro Chamber held firm that $15/hour was not a workable wage for our city businesses. We worked to ensure that the business community had a voice in the process and that their concerns were brought forward by serving on the Mayor’s Task Force.
Knowing that we couldn’t prevent a wage increase entirely, it was always our desire to find a compromise that went as far as it could to protect local businesses. Today, we were one of the first cities to oppose the call for $15/hour in California since the “Fight for $15” campaign began. That is a testament to our business community, who vocally and effectively presented a clear case demonstrating the negative impacts that a $15/hour wage would have on our rising economy. When faced with a $13.50 ballot initiative, a $15/hour minimum wage ordinance or the new proposal outlined by City Council this evening, the Metro Chamber saw an opportunity to protect the business community.
While City Council’s approval is not a win for the business community, it secures a more responsible increase than what we’ve seen in other California cities. Though we continue to believe $12.50 is not the right number for businesses, we do support the exemptions we were able to negotiate:
– Adjusting the Consumer Price Index (CPI) used for cost of living adjustments from the Bay Area to the West-Class B/C classification that is more comparable to Sacramento;
– Increasing the health care credit from $1.50 to $2.00 for employers offering health care to their employees;
– Increasing the “small business” definition from 40 to 100 employees – excluding temporary and seasonal workers;
– Adapting the phase-in delay for small businesses and non-profits from six months to 12; and
– Training wage that supports government and non-profit programs as well as language that mirrors the state training wage allowing employers to pay 85% of the minimum wage for the first 160 hours.
As part of the ordinance, the Task Force will continue to examine effects from the minimum wage increase to ensure impacts are not insurmountable for our local employers and employees. The Metro Chamber will continue to advocate on behalf of the business community and all efforts to keep Sacramento working.
Colleen Spitz, Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Sacramento Metro Chamber