Local Wage and Benefits by the Numbers


In August, San Mateo, Calif., could become the 35th jurisdiction to establish a municipal minimum wage. Though the federal minimum wage of $7.25 has not increased since 2009, the rise of city and county wages may pose compliance challenges for employers. Businesses may prepare by following developments and understanding the trends.

Thirty-four U.S. cities and counties have local minimum wage requirements. Of the 34, 16 were established in 2014 and 2015. Eighteen of the local wages are in California jurisdictions, with 16 of those in Los Angeles County or the counties around San Francisco. Minimum wage measures are under consideration in San Leandro and San Mateo, also in the San Francisco area.

The remaining 16 municipal minimum wages are in eight states: Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington.

Nine locally established wages were scheduled to reach $15 an hour from 2017 to 2021. Eight are in California—El Cerrito, Los Angeles, the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, Malibu, Mountain View, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Sunnyvale. They are scheduled to reach $15 before the state does in 2022. Seattle is to reach $15 an hour for large employers in 2017 and for small employers in 2019.

Additionally, under a New York state law, the hourly minimum wage is to reach $15 from 2018 to 2021 in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. Oregon has a similar minimum wage law that allows varying regional increases.

Paid Leave

City paid leave ordinances do not trail far behind local minimum wage measures. Twenty-six cities have paid sick-leave requirements, with seven established in 2016.

New Jersey has the highest number of local paid sick-leave laws, with 12 municipalities with requirements, though the trend may be catching on elsewhere. In June paid sick-leave ordinances were approved in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and Minneapolis. Albuquerque and St. Paul also are considering paid sick-leave measures.

Only San Francisco has citywide paid parental leave requirements. The city’s measure combines with a state requirement to provide fully paid parental leave for some city residents. The District of Columbia’s council also is considering a paid parental leave measure.

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