California voters almost had the opportunity to vote on an $18 minimum wage in November 2022. The State has a unique administrative process by which California citizens can propose laws and constitutional amendments without the support of the state government.

The $18 an hour proposition called, “The Living Wage Act of 2022,” was intended to be put before California voters in November 2022. It proposed to continue the State’s stair-step increase of the minimum wage as follows:

Year Employers with 25 or fewer employees Employers with 26 or more employees
2023 $15.00 per hour $16.00 per hour
2024 $16.00 per hour $17.00 per hour
2025 $17.00 per hour $18.00 per hour
2026 $18.00 per hour $18.00 per hour

However, this proposed timeline will now need to be adjusted as The Living Wage Act failed to qualify for the 2022 ballot due to the late submission of verified signatures to the California Secretary of State.  The Proposition has been cleared for the 2024 ballot.

Advocates of the measure filed a lawsuit pushing to place the Proposition on the 2022 ballot, but the court found the proponents’ arguments “unpersuasive.”

A separate Proposition aimed at amending the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) was also delayed until November 2024.

Jackson Lewis continues to track legislation, regulations, and ballot measures affecting employers. If you have questions about minimum wage compliance or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.