Minimum Wage Ordinance

  • COVID 19 UPDATE as of March 2022

  •  COVID SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE- Additional 80 hours to the City's existing Sick Leave Laws
  • On February 19, 2022 the Governor passed SB 114, which reinstated 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) for companies with 26 or more employees through September 30, 2022. The expiration date is September 30, 2022.
  • It is critical that employers who are required to provide COVID-19 SPSL notify employees of their rights under the law.
  • While the law went into effect February 19 of this year, employers are required to provide SPSL to employees beginning January 1, 2022. This means if an employee was out sick or took time off because of a qualified COVID-19 related issue between January 1 through February 18, they would have access to their bank of 80 hours. As an employer, you are required to notify employees of the benefits; however, it is up to the employee to request the time either verbally or in writing.
  • Form more information and guidance:
  • Please note the COVID 19 enhanced Paid Sick Leave expired on December 31, 2020 
  • Your employer is not required to provide you with FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020, but your employer may voluntarily decide to provide you such leave. The obligation to provide FFCRA leave applies from the law’s effective date of April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

    Employers with questions about claiming the refundable tax credits for qualified leave wages should consult with the IRS.  Information can be found on the IRS website (

    The information below outlines the requirements prior to December 31, 2020 expiration in order to allow guidance should employers need guidance on the prior rules for tax credits or back pay. 
      Full text of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act


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1) Annual Minimum Wage Increase

A Small Business is one with 55 or fewer employees working within the geographic boundaries of the City of Emeryville. A Large Business is one with 56 or more employees working within the geographic boundaries of Emeryville.

The initial wage and escalation schedule is summarized in the following table:  

 Effective Date  ≤55 Employees  56+ Employees
 July 2, 2015  $12.25  $14.44
 July 1, 2016  $13.00  $14.82 (CPI)
 July 1, 2017  $14.00  $15.20 (CPI)
 July 1, 2018  $15.00  $15.69 (CPI)

July 1-9, 2019
July 10, 2019
July 1, 2019

$15.00 (only for small independent restaurants)                                         
$16.30 (CPI) (only for small independent restaurants)
$16.30 (CPI) (all small and large businesses)

 July 1, 2020  $16.84(CPI) (all businesses)
 July 1, 2021  $17.13 (CPI) (all businesses)
 July 1, 2022  $17.68 (CPI) (all businesses)

2019 Minimum Wage background:
Updated 8/2/2019


Updated 7/24/2019

The City Council officially repealed the Amendment to the Minimum Wage Ordinance at its July 23rd meeting. Therefore, all businesses are required to pay the minimum wage rate of $16.30 per hour this year.  Posters and Notices will be available soon.

Updated 7/9/2019

Minimum Wage requirement now for all businesses is $16.30 (including small independent restaurants). Posters and Notices will be available in the next couple of weeks.

Updated 6/27/2019

“The MWO Amendment, which provides that the minimum wage rate is $15.00 per hour for businesses meeting the ordinance’s definition of “Small Independent Restaurant”, will be in effect until the City Council approves the certification of the results of the referendum petition.  Once the certification is accepted by the City Council, the MWO Amendment is suspended and the minimum wage rate will be $16.30 per hour for all businesses.

Certification of the results occurs at a City Council Meeting after the Registrar of Voters has completed their examination of the petition.  This could happen as early as July 9th (the next City Council meeting) or at a later City Council meeting.  Staff is unable to predict when we will receive the information from the Registrar of Voters.  The City’s website will be updated as soon as the results are received from the Registrar of Voters.”

Subject: Minimum Wage Ordinance Amendment, Referendum Petition

This is to update the community about a Referendum Petition that was submitted to the Emeryville City Clerk on June 25, 2019 regarding the recent amendments to the City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO). The Petition has been reviewed and found to be sufficient, and contains the minimum number of signatures required. The City Clerk submitted it to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (ROV) this afternoon. The ROV must now check and certify the validity of the signatures. If the ROV confirms that the appropriate number of signatures are from registered voters in Emeryville, then the MWO amendment must be brought back to the City Council. What actions the City Council must consider are described in detail below. Essentially, the Council has two options: repeal the MWO amendment entirely or place the matter before the voters at an election. If the matter is placed before the voters at an election, the amendment is not in effect pending the outcome of the election. The City will notify the public if and when the City Council meeting including this matter is scheduled.


On May 29, 2019, the City Council adopted an amendment to the City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance [Emeryville Municipal Code (EMC) Title 5 Chapter 37] to add a definition of “Small Independent Restaurants” and establish a different minimum wage of $15 per hour for fiscal year 2019-2020 for those Small Independent Restaurants. The amendment provided that the minimum wage for Small Independent Restaurants would gradually increase over the next eight years, until 2027 when the minimum wage for all businesses would be the same.

Subsequent to that action, the City Council was informed that a referendum may be filed in an attempt to overturn the decision that approved the amendment. On June 25, 2019, a referendum petition was submitted to the City.

Effect of the Referendum Petition:

According to the State Elections Code, if the petition is certified to have the sufficient number of signatures, the effective date of the ordinance that is the subject of the referendum (the MWO Amendment) is suspended. While the MWO Amendment is suspended, the provisions of the Minimum Wage Ordinance remain as they were pre-amendment, specifically, the minimum wage rate for all businesses, whether small (55 or less employees) or large (56 or more employees) will be $16.30 per hour beginning July 1, 2019.

City Council Actions:

Pursuant to the State Elections Code, if the petition is certified, the City Council shall reconsider the MWO Amendment at its next regular meeting, the agenda for which would be posted and published according to the Brown Act. The possible actions that could be taken by the Council are as follows:

A. Repeal the MWO Amendment entirely.

B. If the City Council does not entirely repeal the MWO Amendment, it must submit the MWO Amendment to the voters, either at the next regular municipal election occurring not less than 88 days after the order; or

C. Submit the MWO Amendment to the voters at a special election called for that purpose, and occurring not less than 88 days after the order.

If the Referendum is placed on the ballot and passes, the MWO amendment will not go into effect and all businesses will be required to pay $16.30 per hour whether the business is a small (55 or less employees) or large (56 or more employees) employer. If the measure is placed on the ballot and does not pass, the MWO Amendment will go into effect, with its provisions defining Small Independent Restaurants and establishing a different wage rate for Small Independent Restaurants.

City staff will make every effort possible to keep the community informed during this process. Staff will also distribute the annual notices and posters once the City has clarity on what the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 wage rates will be.

2) Paid Sick Leave

On July 1, 2015, AB 1522 went into effect requiring that all Employers in the State of California provide Paid Sick Leave to both full-time and part-time Employees. The City’s ordinance includes additional Paid Sick Leave benefits beyond the State requirements. Emeryville’s ordinance requires Paid Sick Leave for full-time, part-time and temporary Employees and includes the following:

  • Minimum of 48 Paid Sick Leave hours accruable for Employees of small businesses (55 or fewer Employees within Emeryville city limits) and 72 hours for Employees of Large Businesses (56 or more within Emeryville city limits).
  • In each year of employment, an Employee may use up to the total number of Paid Sick Leave hours accrued allowed by employer but subject to the minimum number of accruable Paid Sick Leave hours, as described above.
  • AB 1522 allows an Employee to use Paid Sick Leave to provide care for a family member. The Emeryville ordinance broadens the definition of “family member” to include a designated individual (if Employee has no spouse or registered domestic partner) for whom an Employee can use Paid Sick Leave to provide care. In addition, the Employee may use Paid Sick Leave to provide care for a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog of the Employee, Employee’s family member, or the person designated by the Employee.

3) Hospitality Service Charges

Emeryville’s new ordinance also requires that Hospitality Employers who collect service charges from customers must pay the entirety of those charges to the Hospitality Workers who performed those services for which the charge was collected. Examples of activities that could fall under a “service charge” are: delivering food or beverage to a hotel room, catering duties at banquets, or carrying luggage to room for hotel guests.