In the late 1990s and early 2000s, San Francisco passed a variety of measures to help low wage workers try to keep up with the rising cost of living. The city now has the highest minimum wage in the country at 10 dollars 74 cents an hour. It also requires employers to either provide health benefits or pay into a pool so the city can cover their health care costs.
So how has this worked out for workers and their employers? Ken Jacobs has been studying those questions for over a decade. He’s chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and co-author of the book "When Mandates Work" about the impact of San Francisco’s labor laws..
KALW’s Todd Whitney invited Jacobs on a driving tour around some of San Francisco’s restaurants to get an on-the-scene sense of wage issues.
Click on the audio player above to listen to the story.