Home Hollywood West Hollywood Raises Minimum Wage and Requires Paid Leave

West Hollywood Raises Minimum Wage and Requires Paid Leave


Paid Leave Request

As of July 1, 2022, West Hollywood, California, home to the famous Sunset Strip and Melrose shopping district, is now one of the few cities in California requiring employers to provide employees with paid time off (and not just paid sick leave) one).

The West Hollywood minimum wage ordinance, passed late last year, requires eligible employees who work in the city for at least two hours a week to be entitled to paid time off. Full-time employees who work at least 40 hours per week are entitled to 96 hours of paid vacation per year, for a total of 12 days. For employees who work less than 40 hours per week, this time is prorated.

Paid time off can be used for sick leave, vacation or personal needs. An employee is eligible to use the time after six months of employment with the employer, unless the employer’s policy allows earlier use. Accrued but unused leave must be carried forward annually, up to a cap of 192 hours (ie 24 days!).

The ordinance also grants employees up to 80 hours of unpaid leave per year, which can be used when the employee or an immediate family member becomes ill after the paid leave has been exhausted. For employees who work less than 40 hours per week, unpaid time off is also prorated and must be carried over to the employee up to the 80 hour cap.

The only exceptions to this regulation are transitional employers who provide transitional work and support services to the long-term unemployed and employees covered by eligible collective bargaining agreements.

Employers may apply to city managers for waivers of these requirements if compliance would result in (i) bankruptcy or business closure; (ii) a reduction in the employer’s workforce by more than 20%; and (iii) a reduction in total employee hours worked by more than 30%. Any waiver is only valid for one year, so eligible employers will need to reapply each year.

minimum wage rise

The ordinance also sets a minimum wage for West Hollywood employees, depending on whether the employer is a hotel and whether the employer has at least 50 employees. The minimum wage for hotel employees is $17.64, which may increase from July 1, 2023, according to the Consumer Price Index. Effective July 1, 2022, the minimum wage for non-hotel West Hollywood employees will increase to $16.50 per hour (for employers with at least 50 employees) or $16.00 per hour (for employers with fewer than 50 employees). Minimum wages for non-hotel employees in New York City were raised again on January 1, 2023 and July 1, 2023. Employers must also post city minimum wage announcements in the workplace.

Employers in West Hollywood should review their paid time off policies and wage rates to ensure compliance with the new requirements in force. Non-compliance may result in enforcement action by the City or individual employees.

Other local requirements to be aware of

Paid time off requirements for California employees are numerous and complex. West Hollywood joins California cities that require employers to provide some type of paid leave beyond the state’s paid sick leave requirements. Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Monica have different paid sick leave requirements that employers must follow.

Additionally, many cities, including Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Malibu, Milpitas, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, have minimum wage requirements that exceed state law.

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