Berkeley, CA, Passes Ordinance to Raise Minimum Wage, Add Paid Sick Leave Laws

The City of Berkeley, California, passed an ordinance Aug. 31 that amends its current minimum wage law, and adds a new paid sick leave law.

Here are the details of both laws, which go into effect Oct. 1, 2017:

Amended Minimum Wage Law

The new law increases Berkeley’s minimum wage to $12.53 per hour in October 2016, $13.25 in October 2017 and $15 by October 2018. It will take effect even though an existing measure on the city’s November ballot would raise it to $13.25 in October 2017, $14.05 in October 2018 and $15 by October 2019.

Furthermore, in response to strong public opinion that the $15 wage wouldn’t be implemented quickly enough, the ballot also includes a second, union-backed measure raising the minimum wage to $15 in October 2017.

What does this all mean? According to Anne Jakala, GovDocs Compliance Counsel, the new minimum wage law is technically in effect until and unless one of the two ballot measures passes, upon which that ballot will become law.

Under all options, the minimum wage will not be affected until October 2017.  The minimum wage will increase to $12.53 Oct. 1, 2016, as outlined on the current minimum wage posting.

New Paid Sick Leave Law

Berkeley’s New Paid Sick Leave Law raises employees’ maximum leave to 72 hours. The above-mentioned measures on the city’s November 2016 ballot also have a paid sick leave component.

Are Postings Required?

Berkeley’s current minimum wage law requires a posting, as will the new paid sick leave ordinance. Since the latter doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1. 2017, GovDocs doesn’t anticipate a posting will be required until that time.

We’ll continue to monitor this and communicate any developments as they occur.