Santa Rosa, CA – December 18, 2015 – On December 15, 2015, the Board of Supervisors took a major step forward to reduce poverty in Sonoma County by unanimously voting to approve a Living Wage Ordinance. Sonoma County is the seventh county in California to adopt local legislation raising wages for County employees and contractors.
Effective July 1, 2016, all County employees and individuals working for private sector employers who contract with the County will be required to earn a base minimum pay rate of $15.00 an hour when conducting work for the County. Non-profit service contractors will be phased into the Ordinance, beginning at $13.00 starting July 1, 2017, and reaching $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2019.
“Increasing incomes for low-wage earners benefits the health and welfare of our entire community,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Susan Gorin. “As a Board we felt it was important to show leadership to improve the conditions of low wage workers in Sonoma County.”
The Ordinance will apply to contractors who have a combined value of $25,000 or more in contracted services with the County, and who meet the required organizational size. The required wage rate would be adjusted by up to $1.50 per hour for employers that provide either health or retirement benefits and up to $3 per hour for both health and retirement benefits for their employees.
“We took the time to work closely with local labor, non-profit, and business stakeholders to research and hone the many provisions within this approved Living Wage Ordinance,” commented Supervisor James Gore, who served with Chair Gorin on the Board’s Living Wage Ad Hoc Committee. “Through the Living Wage Ordinance, contractors for the County will be screened for compliance with various labor requirements, making our contracting more accountable and resulting in improved service delivery to the community.”
The Ordinance also recognizes workers and collective bargaining rights.