SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Minimum Wage Ordinance will take effect on July 1 as part of the overall goal of a $15 an hour minimum wage by the year 2020, according to a press release from the city of Santa Monica.
Beginning July 1, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees and $13.25 an hour for hotel workers. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees will not see an increase of minimum wage to $10.50 an hour until 2017.
“We value our Santa Monica employees and want to ensure they can afford to live and work in the region,” said Mayor Tony Vazquez. “Enhanced affordability and mobility are two key priorities for Santa Monica. It is imperative that these priorities include our workforce and business community.”
The raise in minimum wage will increase incrementally over the years until all businesses have a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2020. This aligns Santa Monica with regional and state efforts to raise the minimum wage. The raise of the hotel worker minimum wage aligns with Los Angeles’ hotel wage that takes effect in January 2017.
Thousands of workers will receive the increased wage along with sick leave benefit changes as part of the new ordinance. The ordinance also makes the use of service charges transparent to consumers and must be distributed equally to employees. The city of Santa Monica will have the authority to enforce provisions of the new law.
The Minimum Wage Ordinance is part of the City Council’s inclusive and diverse community goal. The ordinance will be a tool to make Santa Monica more affordable, diverse and inclusive. Adaptation of the law happened after a community outreach program that involved the business community, residents, workers and labor groups.
“This new law demonstrates the city’s commitment to improving the health and social welfare of all those working here, while continuing to ensure that Santa Monica is a great place to own and operate a business,” said Laurel Rosen, President of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.
Details of this law include:
– Santa Monica workers will accrue more paid sick leave than required under State law: 40 hours (larger businesses) or 32 hours (smaller businesses), starting January 1, 2017. Employees can use this paid leave consistent with State law.
– Employees will receive 100 percent of any service charge revenue. Back-of-house workers (e.g. dishwashers, prep chefs) can participate in service charge sharing, and employees will know how their workplaces distribute service charge revenue.
– Healthcare-related service charge revenue distribution will be more transparent and under employee control.
– Consumers will be aware of all service charges, and can be sure this revenue directly reaches employees.
– Employers retain the State-level ‘learner’ option, providing that employees working in an activity for the first time can earn 85 percent of the minimum wage for the first 160 hours of employment.
– Employees receive protection from retaliation and the right to pursue action against employers for infractions of the minimum wage law.
Businesses and workers looking for more information on the Minimum Wage Ordinance can visit www.smgov.net/minimumwage. Employers that have questions about the Minimum Wage ordinance can contact the city of Santa Monica through firstname.lastname@example.org.