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Minimum Wage Ordinances

December 4, 2014 by

The current minimum wage for the State of California is $9.00 and is scheduled to increase to $10.00 on January 1, 2016.  San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond recently passed ordinances raising the minimum wage for work performed in each city.  San Jose already has a minimum wage ordinance in effect.  If an employee works at least two hours per week in a city, they must be paid the city’s minimum wage for all hours worked in that city.  Below is a description of each ordinance:

San Francisco

Voters approved the San Francisco ordinance, Proposition J, on November 4, 2014.  The San Francisco minimum wage will increase according to the following schedule:

            January 1, 2015: $11.05

            May 1, 2015:  $12.25

            July 1, 2016:   $13.00

            July 1, 2017:   $14.00

            July 1, 2018:   $15.00

Following 2018, the minimum wage will be increased yearly on July 1, in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).


Voters approved the Oakland ordinance on November 4, 2014.  This ordinance has three main components, which include:

1)    Establishing a minimum wage in the city of Oakland of $12.25 per hour beginning on March 2, 2015, and increasing annually on January 1st, based on increases in the CPI.

2)    Requiring employers in Oakland to provide paid sick leave to their employees beginning March 2, 2015.

  • Employees will accrue one (1) hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work.
  • Employees may use paid sick leave for the employee’s own illness or injury or to care for certain family members who are injured or ill.  Family members included are:  Child, parent, legal guardian or ward, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, registered domestic partner, or child of domestic partner.  If the employee has no spouse or domestic partner, the employee can designate one person for whom they can use sick leave for in lieu of a spouse or domestic partner.
  • Hospitality employers (meaning employers who own, control or operate any part of a hotel, restaurant or banquet facility in Oakland) who collect service charges from customers are required to pay all such service charges to their hospitality workers.  Service charges include charges billed to customers for employee services, such as baggage carrying and room service delivery charges.


The Richmond City Council approved the Richmond ordinance on June 17, 2014, raising the minimum wage incrementally by year as follows:

            2015:     $9.60

            2016:   $11.52

            2017:   $12.30

            2018:   $13.00

Following 2019, the minimum wage increase will be linked to the previous year’s CPI.

If the employer pays at least $1.50 per hour per employee towards an employee medical benefit plan, the employer may pay the employee $1.50 less than the minimum wage.

The Richmond ordinance excludes employers who pay for less than 800 hours of employee labor during a given two week period.

San Jose

San Jose passed a minimum wage ordinance in 2012 that went into effect in January 2014.  The San Jose minimum wage is set to increase from $10.15 to $10.30 on January 1, 2015.


Waiver in Collective Bargaining Agreement

All four ordinances contain a provision allowing for waiver, but only if the waiver is set forth in a collective bargaining agreement in clear and unambiguous terms.  For example:

Effective [DATE], this collective bargaining agreement expressly waives and deems inapplicable the [CITY] minimum wage ordinance.


Federal regulations require that the employee’s overtime rate be calculated based on an employee’s single workweek.  If an employee is paid at varying hourly rates during a single workweek, the employee must be paid an overtime rate based on the weighted average of such rates.  This is computed by taking the employee’s total compensation for that workweek divided by the total number of hours worked in that week.

Please feel free to contact our law offices in Oakland or Sacramento if you have any questions or need further clarification regarding the new minimum wage ordinances in the state of California. Our attorneys are available to advise and represent both individuals and unions in matters of jobs rights related to wages and other working conditions such as harassment and discrimination.


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.