Bay area cities such as San Francisco and Oakland are well known for having local ordinances, and the City of Berkeley is no exception. Here are some of the important local ordinances that employers with employees in Berkeley should be aware of.

Minimum Wage

Effective July 1, 2022, Berkely’s minimum wage is $16.99 per hour for employees who work in the city at least 2 hours per week.

Living Wage Ordinance

Contractors and vendors paid more than $25,000 per year by the city must comply with the Living Wage Ordinance. Under the ordinance covered employers must comply with certain minimum wage and benefit requirements.

Paid Sick Leave

Under Berkeley’s paid sick leave ordinance, employers must allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work.

Small businesses defined as employing fewer than 25 employees may cap an employee’s accrued paid sick leave at 48 hours and may cap the use of paid sick leave at 48 hours annually.

Employers who employ 25 or more employees may cap the accrual of paid sick leave at 72 hours, but may not cap how much leave is used annually.

Family Friendly And Environment Friendly Workplace

Similar to San Francisco’s recently amended Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance, Berkeley has the Family Friendly And Environment Friendly Workplace.

Under the ordinance, employers with 10 or more employees must allow employees who are employed within the geographic boundaries of the city and who have worked for the employer for three months to request flexible or predictable working arrangement.

Covered employees may request the arrangement two times within a 12-month period unless the employee experiences a major life event, which can include the placement of a child through birth, adoption, or foster care, or an increase in the employee’s caregiving duties for a person with a family relationship.

Commuter Benefits

Employers with 10 or more employees must provide a commute program to encourage employees to use public transit, vanpools, or bicycles.

Employers can do one of the following to comply with the requirement:

  • Provide a pre-tax payroll deduction program, allowing employees to use up to $125 in pre-tax wages for public transit or vanpool expenses.
  • Pay for employees’ public transit, vanpool, or bicycle expenses.
  • Provide free shuttle service between home and work on a company-funded vehicle.

If you need assistance with compliance with Berkeley’s employment ordinances or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.