Workforce Standards and Enforcement
Employers with employees who work in Berkeley must follow local workforce standards, including minimum wage and paid sick leave.
Learn about the workforce standards enforced in Berkeley, and about how to report violations of the standards.
Employers with staff who work at least two hours in Berkeley must follow the workforce standards for minimum wage and paid sick leave, and must respond to staff requests for predictable or flexible work schedules. Employers must also post the official notice of these standards in a place where employees can read easily (violators are subject to fines):
- Official Notice to Employers and Employees (English)
- Official Notice to Employers and Employees (Spanish)
- Official Notice to Employers and Employees (Chinese)
Fair Workweek Ordinance
The Berkeley Fair Workweek Ordinance was adopted to ensure that workers within the City of Berkeley are able to have some predictability in their schedules, avoid shifts that cause exhaustion, and attain some balance in their lives, which often involve multiple jobs, childcare, and other family responsibilities. Predictable schedules are an important component of healthy lives.
The ordinance puts into place fair scheduling practices, including 2 weeks’ notice of work schedules and predictability pay for last-minute scheduling changes, allows employees to decline back-to-back shifts without adequate rest, and requires employers to offer any additional hours that become available to existing part-time employees.
The ordinance will become operational for all covered employers and employees on January 12, 2024.
Through early 2024, City of Berkeley staff will be supporting employers and employees to understand and implement the Fair Workweek Ordinance. Upcoming events will be listed at the bottom of this page.
Minimum Wage Ordinance
Employers must pay all staff who work in Berkeley at least two hours per week the minimum wage standard set by the City. The minimum wage standard in Berkeley is listed below:
The minimum wage standard applies to all employees who work at least two hours in the geographical limits of Berkeley, regardless of where the employer is located or where the employee lives. The standard applies to both for-profit and non-profit employers. Employees’ tips do not count towards covering the minimum wage payment.
Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Employers must give their staff one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
Small business employers (with fewer than 25 employees) may cap an employee’s accrued paid sick leave at 48 hours and may cap the use of paid sick leave to 48 hours per year.
Employers with 25 or more employees may cap an employee’s accrual of paid sick leave at 72 hours, but may not cap how much paid sick leave an employee uses in a calendar year.
Berkeley Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Ordinance
Under this ordinance, an employee has the right to request a flexible or predictable work schedule. The employer does not have to grant the request, but does have to respond in writing within 21 days. If denying the request, the written response must include a business reason for denial.
The ordinance applies to employers with ten or more employees. Employees must have worked at least three months and must work at least eight hours per week on a regular basis to be covered by the ordinance.
An employer may revoke or modify a flexible or predictable working schedule for business reasons, with reasonable notice to the employee. Within 21 days, the employer must provide a schedule and must provide in writing to the employee a business reason for the change.
Living Wage Ordinance
Vendors paid more than $25,000 per year by the City of Berkeley must comply with the Living Wage Ordinance. To comply, vendors must pay a living wage (set by the City), provide health benefits or cash in lieu, and provide paid time off. Learn more about this and other vendor requirements, or read the full ordinance. Effective July 1, 2023 the Living Wage will be $18.38 ($21.43)/hour.
- Berkeley Living Wage Official Notice (English)
- Berkeley Living Wage Official Notice (Spanish)
- Berkeley Living Wage Official Notice (Chinese)
If you work in Berkeley and your employer is not paying you the minimum wage, offering you paid sick time, or responding to your request for a flexible or predictable work schedule within 21 days, you can submit a complaint with the City of Berkeley. You can also submit a complaint if your employer violates the living wage ordinance.
You can file a complaint by mail or in person:
- By mail: Fill out a complaint form and send with any supporting documentation to Labor Standards and Enforcement Program, 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
- In person: Visit the Labor Standards and Enforcement Program office at 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Complaints may be submitted by employees or any other person.
It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against any employee who asserts their right to minimum wage, paid sick leave, or living wage. Employers who retaliate against staff for reporting a labor law violation may be fined.
State and federal labor laws
The City of Berkeley does not administer or enforce national or state labor standards such as unpaid overtime, break or lunch periods. Please see the links below for information related to the U.S. Department of Labor or the California Department of Industrial Relations labor standards that are not covered by Berkeley’s local labor standard ordinances.