Oakland voters will already see a minimum wage proposal on their ballot in November, as a number of unions and community groups had previously qualified an initiative.
Council President Kernighan’s initial proposal included a provision that would have exempted tipped employees that met a certain threshold. However, the tipped wage provision was dropped after the city attorney warned about potential litigation.
The proposal was heard Tuesday by the Oakland City Council Community and Economic Development Committee and on a 3-1 vote recommended to the full City Council to adopt an ordinance that will increase the minimum wage. After nearly two hours of public comments and deliberation, several amendments were made to the proposal.
On July 29, the council will be presented with an ordinance with two options that will contain two hourly rate schedules and phase-in dates. The first is $13 per hour phased in over a three-year period for employers with 20 or more employees. Details for the second option will be available Friday.
Set to appear on the November ballot is a $12.25 minimum wage tied to indexing and a mandate for employers to provide five paid sick days. If approved by voters, the ordinance will become law March 2015, setting the hourly minimum wage rate at $12.25. If the city council also adopts an ordinance, Oakland voters will be presented with a choice: support the council’s action by rejecting the ballot initiative or support the ballot initiative. In the event that both the ordinance and measure are approved, the more aggressive wage increase would prevail.
For more information, contact Javier Gonzalez, government affairs + public policy director, at 408.416.6344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.