Voters Choose Higher Minimum Wages | Berkeley Taxes Sugary Beverages

While everyone is talking about the national election results, voters in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco made decisions that will impact your business.  Voters in San Francisco and Oakland voted to increase their minimum wages.  Under the existing ordinance, San Francisco’s minimum wage will reach $11.05, in January 2015, and will now rise to $12.25, May 1, 2015; then increasing to $13 in July 2016, then one dollar each year until reaching $15, and increasing thereafter with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In Oakland, their minimum wage will rise from $9, today to $12.25, March 2, 2015, reaching that level two months before San Francisco.  Oakland’s minimum wage will then increase in July each year with CPI.  Oakland’s minimum wage ordinance also requires employers to offer, starting in March 2015, at least five days of sick leave to all employees who can accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. And potentially one of the most controversial elements of this measure is that it requires hospitality employers, defined as employers who own, control, or operate any part of a hotel, restaurant or Banquet facility within Oakland, to pay all service charges collected from customers to their hospitality workers.

While San Franciscans defeated the sugary beverage tax, which got a majority of votes, but needed 2/3 to pass, Berkeley easily passed their sugary beverage tax, which only required a majority vote. Berkeley’s ordinance will tax one cent per once on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages such as high-calorie, low-nutrition products, like soda, energy drinks, and heavily pre-sweetened tea, as well as added caloric sweeteners used to make these sugar-sweetened beverages. There is a small business exemption for retailers with less than $100,00 in annual gross receipts.

Finally, Berkeley passed a measure that requires both public and private sector workers the right to request part-time work that is to be fine-tuned based on the needs of local employers, with an exemption for small business. The measure also advises the Berkeley City Council to ask the state and federal governments to draft legislation to give employees a right to shorter work hours.

Find more information about all the SF Ballot Measures here.

Information on other Oakland Ballot Measures can be found here.

More information on these and other Berkeley Ballot Measures can be found here.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment