November 9, 2012

Voters In San Jose and Long Beach Change Local Employment Laws

On election night, San Jose, California voters passed a measure increasing the city’s minimum wage from $8.00 to $10.00/hour.  The state’s minimum wage is currently $8.00.  The wage increase is likely to take effect in March 2013.

California voters in the city of Long Beach passed their own wage measure.  Measure N requires nonunionized hotel operators with at least 100 rooms to pay employees an hourly rate of $13.00 or allow them to unionize.  The initiative also requires that hotels pay an automatic 2 percent annual raise to employees and provide full-time hotel employees with a minimum of five paid sick days per year.  If hotels agree to enter into collective bargaining with employees and unions, then the wage mandates do not apply.  Opponents argued that the hotels are being forced to unionize and the wage increase will make it more difficult for Long Beach’s tourism industry to compete with neighboring Los Angeles.  Measure N is expected to take effect by the end of the year.