Legally, small business with less than 500 employees are exempt from federal mandates. Typically works this way at the city and state levels too.
However, California is very progrehssive, so I’d have to look into to find out if they’re offering the status quo exceptions for small or at least microbusinesses like mom and pop types.
Personally, I’m all about exceptions for tiny businesses where the owners only employ themselves. As soon as you become an employer of other people, you need to pay them living wages (or more ideally) or get out of business. I’m sick of seeing private practices, for example, with lawyers and doctors making bank while their staff struggle to make rent. Don’t even get me started on churches!!
But these giant employers like Kroger, Amazon, and Walmart — if they don’t want to serve the needs of the population by paying living wages (that increase every year in proportion to inflation), then they need to start paying taxes so the government can do it.
Thanks for the dialogue, Audrey.