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The California Senate has passed, and the Assembly is considering, SB935, a bill which would substantially increase the California minimum wage. This would be on top of recently passed legislation which will increase the minimum from $8 per hour to $9 effective this coming July 1st, and then to $10 on January 1, 2016.

SB935 would override the current schedule with additional increases as follows:

January 1, 2015 – $11.00 per hour (equals a $3 jump in 6 months time)

January 1, 2016 – $12.00

January 1, 2017 – $13.00

The minimum wage would then be raised each year by the rate of inflation.

What does not seem to be well understood about minimum wage increases is the domino effect. One employee may be happy to get his mandated bump to $9 an hour but his supervisor, who may be making $10 an hour, will expect an increase as well, and so on up the ladder.

Another factor is that most union labor agreements are based on the minimum wage (for example a specific job may pay minimum wage plus $5). So guess who is pushing for this legislation.

Thirdly, these cost increases will be passed on, so consumers will foot the bill, not the businesses.

But the problem for the auto repair industry is magnified by Wage Order 9, issued by the California Industrial Welfare Commission in 2004. Wage Order 9 requires that businesses that require employees to have their own tools must pay them double the minimum wage. That affects virtually every auto repair shop and dealership in the State.

Del Mar Automotive has two technicians that must provide their own tools. We belong to an association (ASCCA) which has been lobbying for, if nothing else, modifications to or exemption from Wage Order 9 to limit the damage. Thus far no such amendments have been offered.

Time is short as the next Assembly committee hearing on SB935 is on June 25th. Please help us by contacting your assembly person to register your concern about the cost of future repairs. Most effective is a call directly to their office in Sacramento. If you don’t know who your assembly person is go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.


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