Jackson Rancheria Band Establishes Highest Minimum Wage in U.S.
In a historic act for any sovereign government, the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians has raised the minimum wage for hourly employees on the 1,500-acre reservation in Amador County to $10.60 an hour, starting in 2014. The hourly pay is higher than any local, state or tribal government.
"While the federal government struggles with a government shutdown, our Tribe has invested its resources cautiously and kept a balanced budget. Now we are able to share the results of those decisions with our hardworking employees," said Tribal Chairman Adam Dalton. "This is an example of how governments and businesses can work to improve the lives of the people and the community."
Jackson Rancheria is the largest employer in Amador County, and provides its employees a living wage along with dental, vision and medical care as well as retirement benefits. The wage increase will impact approximately 1,135 employees and could cost Jackson Rancheria up to $5 million annually.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after California passed legislation to increase its minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour by July 2016. As a sovereign government with primary jurisdiction over the reservation, Jackson Rancheria was not required to comply with California's increase, but did so to thank its employees for their loyalty and hard work.
Added Chairman Dalton, "We have always said that Jackson Rancheria has some of the best employees in the world and now their pay reflects it. We will continue to monitor governments in other jurisdictions to ensure the wages for employees at Jackson Rancheria remain among the highest in the nation."
In addition to investing its resources in its outstanding work force, Jackson Rancheria is also investing in the local community through its Amador County Park Restoration program. Last year the Tribe embarked on a major effort to upgrade every single park and ball field in Amador County. To date, the Tribe has worked to completely restore three parks and is now working to protect priceless Tribal resources at Indian Grinding Rock State Park in Pine Grove, California. The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians owns and operates the successful Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, located in the Sierra foothills town of Jackson, California.