California – NEW City Minimum Wage Increases

Throughout California, local cities and counties continue to pass ordinances relating to minimum wage, paid sick leave, criminal background checks and more. On July 1, 2018, several local minimum wage rates will increase, and two new local ordinances will go into effect.

Minimum Wage Increases

The following cities and county will increase their minimum wage on July 1 to:

  • Emeryville: $15.69/hour for businesses with 56 or more employees; $15/hour for businesses with 55 or fewer employees.
  • City of Los Angeles: $13.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $12/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • County of Los Angeles (unincorporated areas only): $13.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $12/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Malibu: $13.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $12/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Milpitas: $13.50/hour.
  • Pasadena: $13.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $12/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • San Francisco: $15/hour.
  • San Leandro: $13/hour.
  • Santa Monica: $13.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $12/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

Eligibility rules may vary based on different locations.

New Minimum Wage Ordinance

Belmont enacted a new minimum wage ordinance that goes into effect July 1, 2018, setting the minimum wage rate at $12.50/hour.

New San Francisco Salary History Ordinance

In addition to San Francisco’s minimum wage rate increase, San Francisco’s new  Salary History Ordinance  will become effective on July 1, 2018. Under the ordinance, employers will be banned from considering the current or past salary of an applicant in determining whether to hire the applicant or what salary to offer the applicant. This regulation is very similar to an existing rule  A.B. 168, under CA state law effective January 1, 2018. New York, Delaware and Oregon have also passed similar laws.

The law will apply to all employers, including city contractors and subcontractors. It will also apply to all job applicants in the city—even those applying for temporary, contingent, seasonal or part-time work.

The purpose of the law is to combat gender-based pay inequities that continue over the course of a woman’s career. “The problematic practices of seeking salary history from job applicants and relying on their current or past salaries to set employees’ pay rates contribute to the gender wage gap by perpetuating wage inequalities across the occupational spectrum,” the ordinance states.

San Francisco’s pay question ban will prohibit employers from:

  • Asking about a job applicant’s current or prior salaries including the value of benefits or other perks.
  • Relying on an applicant’s salary history in determining whether to make a job offer or what salary to offer.
  • Retaliating against an applicant for refusing to disclose salary history.
  • Releasing a current or former employee’s salary history without written authorization—unless disclosure is required by law or the information is publicly available or part of a collective bargaining agreement.

However, an employer may consider a job applicant’s salary history if it is disclosed voluntarily and without prompting from the employer. This will allow job applicants to freely negotiate or present counteroffers during the selection process. However, employer requests for salary expectations should be done in a way that is intended to solicit salary history or put pressure on a candidate to disclose salary information

Action Items for Employers in CA and San Francisco

  • Ensure your labor law posters are up to date with the July 1 minimum wage rate increases.
  • Ensure your hiring managers and outside recruiters are aware of the salary history ban in effect.
  • Update applicant materials such as your Employment Application or any screening questions in your Applicant Tracking System. Employers in San Francisco must post the Employer Consideration of Salary History Poster at each workplace or job site.
  • Be prepared to disclose a pay range for open positions upon request from the candidate. When providing the salary range, employers may qualify it by explaining that the salary offered will be based on appropriate factors such as qualifications and experience.

BlueFire HR can help you stay in compliance with new regulations that can have a major impact on your business operations. Reach out today and see how we can help! For more information, please contact us at, 773-793-1362 or at 888-892-9597.

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