Articles

San Francisco Bay Area Voters Approve Minimum Wage Increases, Paid Sick Leave Requirements

November 05, 2014

On November 4, 2014, voters overwhelmingly approved ballot initiatives aimed at raising the minimum wage in various San Francisco Bay Area cities.

More than 80% of voters supported Proposition J, which raises the minimum wage for work performed in San Francisco to $12.25 per hour by May 1, 2015, $13 per hour by July 2016, $14 per hour by July 2017, culminating in a $15 per hour minimum wage in July 2018.

The City of Oakland’s Lift Up Oakland initiative also passed.  The minimum wage for work performed in Oakland will go up to $12.25 per hour effective March 2, 2015, and will increase annually based on the rise in cost of living. 

Please note: even if your business is not based in San Francisco or Oakland, if you have employees working within those city limits, their work is subject to these higher minimum wages.

The Oakland ballot measure also requires that employers in Oakland provide paid sick leave to their employees beginning on March 2, 2015, over four months earlier than required by state law. Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Employers of fewer than 10 workers may cap paid sick leave at 40 hours, while all larger employers may cap the sick leave accrual at 72 hours. The paid sick leave may be used for the employee's own illness or injury, or to care for certain family members who are ill or injured. Employees with no spouse or domestic partner may designate one person for whom the employee may use paid sick leave to provide care.

If you have questions about how these initiatives impact your business, please contact one of Berliner Cohen’s employment attorneys:
Roberta S. Hayashi, (408) 286-5800, roberta.hayashi@berliner.com
Christine H. Long, (408) 286-5800, christine.long@berliner.com
Susan E. Bishop, (408) 286-5800, susan.bishop@berliner.com
Eileen P. Kennedy, (408) 286-5800, eileen.kennedy@berliner.com
Kara L. Arguello, (408) 286-5800, kara.arguello@berliner.com
Jennifer Y. Leung, (408) 286-5800, jennifer.leung@berliner.com

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© 2014 Berliner Cohen. This article is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice or a solicitation for the formation of an attorney-client relationship and no attorney-client relationship is created through your use of the Berliner Site or your receipt of the materials.

Berliner Cohen’s experienced employment law attorneys advise and represent employers and managers on a full range of legal issues affecting the workplace, including harassment and discrimination, unfair competition and trade secrets, wrongful discharge, wage and hour issues, and labor disputes. Berliner Cohen also is skilled in representing employers in both State and Federal Class Action cases. For almost fifty years, Berliner Cohen, founded and headquartered in San Jose, California, has been one of the most highly-respected full-service business law firms in the region. Berliner Cohen possesses the specialized expertise required to serve the business and regulatory needs of a diverse clientele, which includes publicly-traded corporations and privately-held entities across various sectors, public agencies and governmental entities, leading real estate developers, owners, operators, managers and investors, and banking and other financial institutions. Berliner Cohen also meets the growing demands of the San Joaquin Valley with its Merced and Modesto offices.