On August 17, 2015, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed a new ordinance that will require all city contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.55 per hour to employees. The New Orleans City Council unanimously passed by the law, Ordinance Calendar No. 30,550on August 6, 2015. Known unofficially as the “Living Wage Ordinance,” the new law will also require city contractors and grant recipients to provide employees with a minimum of seven paid sick days per year.
The ordinance, which is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2016, will apply to all city contractors with public contracts worth at least $25,000 per year or organizations that receive public grants of at least $100,000 in one year. On January 1 of each year the wage requirement will be readjusted based on the consumer price index, but adjustments will not include reductions in the minimum wage requirement. In addition, employers that pay employees at least 30 percent above the minimum requirement will be exempt from the sick leave requirement.
All city contractors and grant recipients should review and revise their pay and leave practices to ensure compliance with the new ordinance.