Berkeley’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance took effect October 1, 2017. The Berkeley minimum wage also increased on October 1, 2017. And earlier this month, the City issued new guidance on its Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace and Paid Sick Leave Ordinances. The details of the Ordinances are outlined below.

Minimum Wage

Berkeley’s current minimum wage is $12.53 per hour and is scheduled to increase as follows:

Paid Sick Leave

Earlier this month, the City issued a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) regarding the new Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. Below is a summary of key points of the FAQ:

  • The Ordinance did not address frontloading. However, the FAQ allows employers to provide sick leave as a lump sum at the beginning of each employment year, calendar year, or other 12-month period, so long as the employee can accrue additional sick leave after working enough hours to have accrued the amount allocated upfront.
  • The FAQ provides that sick leave may be used for a minimum increment of one (1) hour, and after the initial hour in each occurrence, sick leave can be used in increments of 15 minutes thereafter. (Note that the Ordinance does not parallel State law on this respect).

For more information regarding the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, please see our previous update.

Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance

The Berkeley Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance requires that an certain employees working in the city have the right to request a flexible or predictable work schedule and that the employer must respond in writing within 21 days to any request for a flexible or predictable work schedule. The City issued a FAQ on the Ordinance earlier this month.

Below is a summary of key points of this Ordinance:

  • The Ordinance applies to employers with 10 or more employees.
  • An employee must be employed for at least three (3) months and work at least eight (8) hours per week on a regular basis to request a flexible or predictable schedule.
  • Employers may deny a request for a flexible or predictable schedule, but must provide a written response setting forth a business reason for the denial.
  • If you have any questions regarding implementation of any of the new Ordinance requirements for Berkeley or other California locations, please contact the authors or your usual employment counsel.