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2024 Legislative Update, Part Three: New Wage Laws

February 5, 2024 by


Minimum Wage for Healthcare Workers (SB 525)

By: Lorrie Bradley

The bill increases the minimum wage for most healthcare workers starting June 1, 2024. This applies very broadly, encompassing any health care facility employee who provides patient care, health care services, or services supporting the provision of health care. Thus, in addition to health care workers, the bill covers health care facility janitors, housekeepers, groundskeepers, guards, clerical and administrative workers, food service workers, schedulers and coding/billing personnel, warehouse, and laundry workers. It also covers employees who provide health care services but work for a contractor. Excluded are outside salespersons, public sector workers whose primary duties are not health care services, and employees involved in delivery or waste collection work for health care facilities but are employed by outside companies.

Recent statements from Governor Newsom suggest that this bill may be pared back before implementation due to budgetary concerns, but for now, the bill is scheduled to go into place on June 1, 2024.

The new minimum rates vary depending on the type of health care facility.

Group 1 includes the largest employers (hospitals or health care networks with greater than 10,000 FTE employees), dialysis clinics, and county health care facilities for counties over a certain population threshold (the only one of which is Los Angeles County).
• June 1, 2024 $23 per hour
• June 1, 2025 $24 per hour
• June 1, 2026 $25 per hour
• For years after June 1, 2026, the minimum wage will increase by the lower of 3.5% or as indexed to inflation by the CPI-W

Group 2 includes safety net hospitals (hospitals with a patient population of at least 90% Medicare/Medi-Cal, or independent/non-chain hospitals with a patient population of at least 75% Medicare/Medi-Cal), independent/non-chain hospitals in rural counties, and county health care facilities in counties with a population of less than 250,000.
• June 1, 2024 $18 per hour
• June 1, 2025 – June 1, 2033: Increases by 3.5% annually until $25/hour reached

Group 3 includes clinics (i.e., primary care, free clinics run by nongovernment organizations, community clinics, rural health clinics, and urgent care clinics owned and operated by primary care clinics).
• June 1, 2024 $21 per hour
• June 1, 2025 $22 per hour
• June 1, 2027 $25 per hour

Group 4 includes all other facilities – hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, urgent care clinics, doctor’s offices, mental health facilities not mentioned in Groups 1-3, and county mental health and county correctional health facilities.
• June 1, 2024 $21 per hour
• June 1, 2026 $23 per hour
• June 1, 2028 $25 per hour

Group 5 includes facilities owned, affiliated or operated by a county. Implementation for this group is delayed until January 1, 2025, at which point the facilities will fall under Groups 1 4.


Fast Food Minimum Wage (AB 1228)

By: Peter McEntee

Creates a Fast Food Council and establishes an initial $20 minimum wage for Fast Food employees beginning April 1, 2024. After that, the Fast Food Council may increase the minimum wage each year by no more than 3.5% or U.S. CPI, whichever is less. The Council has the discretion to set different minimum rates for different regions.


The material on this website is provided by Beeson, Tayer & Bodine for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented. Some of the articles are updated periodically, and are marked with the date of the last update. Again, readers should consult with their own legal counsel for the most current information and to obtain professional advice before acting on any of the information presented.