Pressure is mounting at the national, state and local levels to boost the minimum wage. There is pressure on the Los Angeles City Council to raise the minimum for the City to $15. On July 14, 2014, the San Diego City Council took the first step toward raising the minimum to $11.50 by January 2017.
The federal minimum wage establishes a floor for the entire United States of of $7.25 per hour, but each state may establish its own minimum wage, as many have done. At the end of April 2014, sponsors of a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 failed to obtain the votes necessary to allow the Senate to consider it.
The California minimum wage was raised to $9.00 per hour on July 1, 2014, and is scheduled to go to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. California law allows local municipalities to set their own minimum wages. San Francisco has adopted a minimum wage ($10.74 per hour for 2014) that adjusts annually based on the regional consumer price index. San Jose has a similar ordinance, and a current minimum wage of $10.15 per hour. Because others will certainly follow, employers must monitor local legislative activity wherever they have employees to ensure that their wages meet local requirements.
A May 2012 post explored some of the details of the minimum wage.