April 16, 2019
In November 2018, voters in Oakland approved a ballot measure entitled “Oakland Minimum Wage Charter Amendment.” Oakland hotels with 50 or more rooms must pay workers a certain wage based on whether the employee receives health benefits from the employer. Those employees who receive health benefits must be paid at least $15 per hour. Those who do not receive health benefits must be paid at least $20 per hour.
The requirement is effective July 1, 2019, and applies to any person who leases, owns, or sublets an operation in a covered hotel. Thus, a restaurant or retail space located within a covered hotel will likely also need to comply. Employees covered by the new law are those working five hours or more for four weeks.
In addition to the minimum wage requirement, the covered hotels must also implement procedures to protect employees from threatening behavior, limit the workload for housekeeping staff, and comply with the city’s paid sick leave requirement.
The Oakland Department of Workplace and Employment Standards is expected to issue guidance and regulations. There are many unanswered questions at this time such as how the term “health benefits” will be defined and when the department will enforce the law. For now, it appears that the department may not begin enforcement until July 2020.
Oakland Minimum Wage Charter Amendment »