San Jose joins four other cities – the Bay Area’s own San Francisco, along with Washington D.C., and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M. –that have set their own minimum wage. San Jose voters raised the city’s hourly minimum wage to $10 — $2 above the statewide minimum (and $2.75 above the federal rate). Employers must pay the highest of the local, state or federal wage.
Under the new rule, employers must pay their employees a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour for work performed within the City of San Jose. The new minimum wage rate will be effective 90 days after certification of the results of this election –I’ll update this entry when that date is certain. The City must also adjust the wage each year beginning January 1, 2014 based on increases in a specified Consumer Price Index.
The new law will apply to most employers in San Jose. The basic exceptions are employers that (1) do not “maintain a facility” in the City of San Jose and (2) are exempt from the Business License Tax under the Municipal Code. The minimum wage requirement would not apply to a person who works less than two hours per week. And if you employ workers under a Santa Clara County welfare-to-work program, other exceptions may apply.
Covered employers must post the minimum wage rates, notify employees of the minimum wage rates, and maintain certain payroll records. The Code will prohibit retaliation or discrimination against any person seeking to enforce the rights provided by the ordinance. The City will administer and enforce the law including, investigating possible violations, issuing administrative citations and compliance orders, and filing a lawsuit in court. Remedies include back wages, penalties, equitable relief, and – the tail that wags the dog – payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Any person harmed by a violation of the minimum wage requirement, or any member of the public, may sue in court to enforce the requirement.