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Summary of the City of Sonoma Living Wage Law

The City of Sonoma’s Living Wage Ordinance (Sonoma Municipal Code Section 2.70) was adopted in 2004. The Living Wage applies to a limited number of entities, and only if they employ more than six employees. These include the City of Sonoma itself and organizations that receive funding or financial assistance from the City, such as:

  • For-profit service contractors that receive $10,000 or more from the City in a 12-month period; Non-profit service contractors that receive $75,000 or more from the City in a 12-month period
  • Recipients of City leases, concessions, or franchises (if they have 25 or more employees and $350,000 or more in annual gross receipts)
  • Recipients of financial aid (cash or non-cash assistance from the City of more than $100,000 in a 12-month period. Sub contractors or sub-tenants of the above with $50,000 or more in annual gross receipts;
  • Other public agencies, which receive contract(s) for $10,000 or more from the City in a 12-month period.

The Living Wage is adjusted annually. As of 2016, the Living Wage is $16.51 per hour. An employer may receive a credit toward the wage for amount spent providing health benefits to employees.

The ordinance does provide for certain exemptions, such as volunteers, certain types of temporary employees, employees under age 21 who work for a nonprofit for after-school or summer employment, and others. The ordinance also includes provisions for the City Council to make waivers to the ordinance, if certain findings can be made.

Although City construction contracts are subject to the Living Wage, they are typically also covered by State prevailing wage law, which is higher.

Additional requirements and limitations apply. For the full provisions of the ordinance, see Section 2.70 of the Sonoma Municipal Code available at this link: http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/Sonoma/index.pl.

Questions regarding the City of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance should be addressed to the City Manager’s Office at 938-3681. Link State prevailing wage law to: http://www.dir.ca.gov/OPRL/PWD/index.htm