Sonoma Adopts New Minimum Wage Ordinance

Jun 13 2019 - Local Ordinances - Bianca Saad

Businesses with employees in Sonoma, make sure you plan for a new local minimum wage in January.

The City of Sonoma is the latest city to adopt a local minimum wage ordinance. On June 10, 2019, the Sonoma City Council adopted the Sonoma Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO), which will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 per hour for large employers and $12.50 per hour for small employers, effective January 1, 2020.

The Sonoma MWO will cover all employees who work two hours or more in a particular week within the geographic boundaries of Sonoma.

Under Sonoma’s new MWO schedule, employers with 26 or more employees, including those employed outside the city, will be required to pay their employees $13.50 per hour as of January 1, 2020. Employers with 25 or fewer employees, including those employed outside the city, will be required to pay $12.50 per hour as of January 1, 2020. These rates will each increase $1.50 per hour on January 1, 2021 ($15 per hour for large employers and $14 per hour for small employers), and then by $1 each subsequent year until January 1, 2024, at which time the increase will be set according to the Pacific Region Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Starting January 1, 2021, employers that pay at least $1.50 per hour per employee towards an employee medical benefits plan receive a $1.50 per hour health care credit. In 2020, the City Manager may include guidelines for calculating the medical plan credit and address any procedures required for obtaining the credit.

Employers will have to post required employee notices, including a workplace poster that must be displayed in a conspicuous place at any workplace or job site. Additionally, employers will have to keep payroll records for three years.

Several other North Bay cities, like Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma and Novato, have also been considering whether to adopt local minimum wage ordinances, so we may see more of these in the months to follow. Stay tuned to HRWatchdog for updates!

Bianca Saad, Employment Law Subject Matter Expert

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