City Council Votes to Increase Minimum Wage and Require Paid Sick Leave for Employees
Effective July 1, 2016, the minimum wage for Santa Monica employees will increase to $10.50 per hour, just as it will for employees in Los Angeles. The minimum wage in Santa Monica will increase to $12.00 in 2017, $13.25 in 2018, $14.25 in 2019, and then finally to $15.00 in 2020, which is also equivalent to the recently passed Los Angeles ordinance.
The Santa Monica City Council voted to approve the minimum wage ordinance, which furthers the trend of increasing minimum wages throughout California and the country. Again, similar to the Los Angeles ordinance, Santa Monica's ordinance includes phased increases of minimum wage for employees through 2020. Qualifying non-profits and employers with 25 or fewer employees will have a one-year delay to 2021 to reach the top minimum wage rate.
The ordinance provides several additional benefits to employees, and one exemption, to include the following:
- A provision for an even higher minimum wage for Santa Monica hotel workers, starting at $13.25 on July 1, 2016 and then increasing to $15.37 on July 1, 2017. This provision applies to all Santa Monica hotels and motels, no matter the size, and applies to employees working in any capacity, including at on-site restaurants.
- A first time employee exception, allowing employers to pay first-time workers (meaning, someone working for the first time in an activity) 85% of the mandatory minimum wage for the first 480 hours or six months of work, whichever is sooner.
- An exemption for employees already covered by collective bargaining agreements.
- A paid sick leave provision. Individuals who work for employers with 26 or more employees will receive nine paid sick days and those who work for employers with less than 26 employees will receive five paid sick days. These provisions exceed those recently enacted by the California Paid Sick Leave Law, which provides employees with three paid sick days.
Questions about California's Minimum Wage?
Minimum wages throughout California and the country are constantly changing. Employers should remain up-to-date on wage laws in every jurisdiction where they have employees. Employees throughout California should remain abreast of federal, state and local wage laws to ensure they are being properly compensated for the work they are providing.
An experienced California employment lawyer can quickly answer your questions about California's wage and hour laws. To discuss minimum wage laws, or a potential claim on your behalf, feel free to contact leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley. Call toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us via email.