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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Board of Supervisors amends Sonoma County’s Living Wage ordinance

SANTA ROSA, CA | June 04, 2024

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today completed an 18-month effort to update the County’s Living Wage ordinance, approving a series of amendments that will expand the number of employers required to meet or exceed County requirements for pay and benefits.

“These changes will ensure that more employers meet minimum standards for pay and benefits if they do business with the County or profit from using County-owned property,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, chair of the Board of Supervisors.

The Living Wage ordinance currently sets a minimum wage of $18.10 per hour for workers at certain private companies and nonprofits that contract with the County of Sonoma or operate a business on County property. It is unrelated to the state minimum wage, which increased to $16 an hour on Jan. 1.

The ordinance applies to private companies with six or more employees, if they supply $25,000 annually or more in contracted services to the County. The ordinance also applies to nonprofits that have 25 or more employees and supply more than $50,000 annually in services to the County. The requirements also apply to entities that annually receive more than $100,000 in economic development assistance.

Today, the Board of Supervisors expanded the scope of the ordinance to cover lessees, concessionaires and other employers using County-owned property, including the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and the County’s seven veterans memorial buildings. It will now apply to these employers if they generate more than $350,000 in annual gross receipts from all sources and employ more than 25 workers.

Vendors and concessionaires at the Sonoma County Fair were exempted from the ordinance, an exception that will help the fairgrounds continue to attract traveling businesses to the summer fair. The ordinance applies to fair lessees and service providers, however, and fair temporary employees will now be paid the County’s living wage rate.

All employers covered by the ordinance must give employees at least one hour of paid time off for every 20 hours worked, up to a maximum of 12 paid days off annually.

The board also approved new measures in the ordinance for part-time workers, requiring covered employers to do their best effort to increase their hours, if possible, instead of hiring additional part-time workers.

The Board of Supervisors adopted the Living Wage ordinance in 2016 to promote a viable wage for local residents whose jobs are tied to County contracts. The amendments adopted today incorporate changes that were tentatively approved by the board at public hearings in March and in September 2023.

Media Contact:
Ted Appel, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403