America at work
Why Does a California Mall Have Two Different Minimum Wages?
Free Enterprise Staff | October 2, 2014

We are always interested in telling stories about America’s small businesses, which is why when we heard that stores on either side of a California mall were subject to two completely different minimum wage laws, we were intrigued, to say the least.

The mall in question, the Westfield Valley Fair Mall, is effectively divided into two distinct zones because it occupies a unique geographic location at the nexus of two cities, Santa Clara and San Jose. San Jose has had a higher minimum wage than Santa Clara since 2012, when residents pushed through a $2 pay increase.

The disparate wage rules have had the undue effect of creating a lot of confusion for storeowners, particularly those whose businesses are situated on the border between the two cities.

Luckily for us, we didn’t have to go too far to learn more about the mall because Sheryll Poe just published a piece on it this week. To learn more about the unusual business story—and to see if either city’s minimum wage laws have changed—head over to the U.S. Chamber Blog and check out her great piece here.