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Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Minimum Wage Law Takes Effect Today

Today, Emeryville's historic 'Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance' takes effect, raising the economic prospects of and dignity for the working poor in our city.  The new law guarantees all workers in Emeryville at least $12.25 per hour ($14.44 for workers at businesses with more than 55 employees) plus paid sick days.  Additionally, the new law provides that employers who tack on service charges to customers must pay this additional money to the employees.  Lastly, the law guards employees against retaliation from employers.  The City is ready to enforce the new law with a new enforcement officer, Molly Hogan at (510) 596-4316 Punishment against employers who disregard the new law will be in the form of fines, meant to exceed the amount not paid to each employee.  Enforcement will be complaint driven.  Emeryville workers who aren't paid at least the minimum wage are encouraged to fill out a complaint form (linked below), provisions are available for anonymity for those employees wishing it.

Emeryville businesses must pay their employees the new minimum wage starting today.

Below is text taken from the City's website outlining the new law (the City's full website page is HERE).  

The Emeryville City Council adopted an ordinance on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 that will provide for a higher citywide minimum wage and additional paid sick leave provisions than required by the State of California. The new law goes into effect July 2, 2015.

There are three key provisions of the new law:
1) Minimum Wage Increase
A Small Business is one with 55 or fewer employees working within the geographic boundaries of the City of Emeryville. A Large Business is one with 56 or more employees working within the geographic boundaries of Emeryville.
For Small Businesses, the minimum wage rate will be $12.25 per hour effective July 2, 2015. Large Businesses will provide a minimum wage of $14.44 per hour effective on July 2, 2015. These rates will increase annually with Large Business minimum wage rates adjusting annually for inflation every July 1 based on the annual increase in the local consumer price index (CPI). Small Business minimum wage rates will increase in increments until 2019, at which point the Small Business minimum wage rate will match the Large Business minimum wage rate and both will be increased every July 1 by the local CPI. 
2) Paid Sick Leave
On July 1, 2015, AB 1522 will go into effect requiring that all employers in the State of California provide Paid Sick Leave to both full-time and part-time Employees, accrued at the rate of one hour Paid Sick Leave for every 30 hours worked. The City’s ordinance includes additional Paid Sick Leave benefits beyond the State requirements. Emeryville’s ordinance requires Paid Sick Leave for full-time, part-time and temporary Employees and includes the following:
  • Maximum of 48 Paid Sick Leave hours accruable for Employees of small businesses (55 or fewer Employees within Emeryville city limits) and 72 hours for Employees of Large Businesses (56 or more within Emeryville city limits).
  • In each year of employment, an Employee may use up to the total number of Paid Sick Leave hours accrued, subject to the maximum number of accruable Paid Sick Leave hours, as described above.
  • AB 1522 allows an Employee to use Paid Sick Leave to provide care for a family member. The Emeryville ordinance broadens the definition of “family member” to include a designated individual (if Employee has no spouse or registered domestic partner) for whom an Employee can use Paid Sick Leave to provide care. In addition, the Employee may use Paid Sick Leave to provide care for a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog of the Employee, Employee’s family member, or the person designated by the Employee.
3) Hospitality Service Charges
Emeryville’s new ordinance also requires that Hospitality Employers who collect service charges from customers must pay the entirety of those charges to the Hospitality Workers who performed those services for which the charge was collected. Examples of activities that could fall under a “service charge” are: delivering food or beverage to a hotel room, catering duties at banquets, or carrying luggage to room for hotel guests.
No Retaliation
Employers are prohibited from discharging, reducing compensation or otherwise discriminating against any person who makes a complaint under the ordinance.
The full ordinance text can be found here.
This information will assist Employers with compliance under the Emeryville Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

Resource List for Business Owners
Mandatory Bulletins (paper size 11” x17”):
Posters must be displayed where they can be read easily by all Employees. Violators are subject to penalties.
Official Notices (paper size 8.5” x11”):
Official Notices must be provided to all current Employees by July 2, 2015. Employees hired after July 2, 2015 must be provided the Official notices upon hire.
The poster(s) and official notices are required to be provided in all languages spoken by 10% or more of the workplace’s Employees. If an Employer needs the notices translated into other languages please contact City staff below. You may reproduce the poster and notices as required by your needs, and they need not be reproduced in color.

If you believe that your Employer is not paying you the required minimum wage, not providing Paid Sick Leave, or otherwise violating the Emeryville Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, please complete a Claim Declaration form.
Claim Declaration Form English
You may submit the form to the City in one of three ways:
  1. Via mail to: Economic Development and Housing Division
    Community Development Department
    1333 Park Avenue
    Emeryville, CA 94608
  2. In person at the City of Emeryville City Hall at the address above during regular business hours which are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, excluding City holidays.
  3. Via email to
Overview Presentation

  • July 11, 2015, Saturday 10am-11:30am
Both events held in City Council Chamber Room on the 2nd floor of City Hall located at 1333 Park Avenue, Emeryville, CA 94608. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person requiring an accommodation, auxiliary aid or professional language interpreter service to participate in this event should contact Serenity Mlay at (510)450-7801 or by email: as far in advance as possible, but no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event.
See fliers for event here: English | Spanish

If you have any further questions or require assistance please call (510) 596-4316 or email

1 comment:

  1. I wish they would raise my Social Security benefits by a similar %... I am
    barely scraping by. Or overturn the $200 monthly rent increase my RentLord
    imposed to keep up with the techie-inspired rent increases in Emeryville .
    Now, fight for rent control and rent rollbacks for the retired "Poor"
    living on Social Security only. * Hear that R.U.L.E.?*

    Richard Ambro
    64th St