San Francisco

Oakland Reminds People That Its Minimum Wage Will Increase in 2019

City of Oakland officials want to remind both employers and employees that the city's minimum wage will increase in January.

In November 2014, Oakland voters approved Measure FF, which provides annual increases to the city's minimum wage based on the local Consumer Price Index, by an overwhelming 82 percent majority.

The city says that effective Jan. 1 the rate will rise 57 cents, from $13.23 to $13.80 per hour.

The law also requires that employers inform employees of the increase by Saturday.

Oakland officials said many cities and states across the nation have enacted minimum wage laws so that workers may earn a wage that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families.

Several other cities in the Bay Area also have enacted minimum wage laws.

According to Oakland officials, San Francisco's minimum wage is currently $15 an hour and Emeryville's is $15 per hour for small businesses and $15.69 per hour for large businesses.

Some economists say that high minimum wage levels lead to declines in jobs and hours worked and harm people who have little work experience, low education levels and few job skills.

But Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement, "Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do and helps all Oakland workers. It also supports our local shops and economy when residents earn a respectable wage."

Schaaf said, "As we continue to fight the cost of living crisis in our region, raising the minimum wage is the morally responsible thing to do."

Oakland officials said other benefits mandated by Measure FF, such as paid sick leave and payment of service charges to hospitality workers, remain the same as when the employment law took effect on March 2, 2015.

They also said employers are prohibited from discharging, reducing compensation or otherwise discriminating against any person who makes a complaint under the law.

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
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