The local minimum wage ordinance trend continues to heat up, again, as Petaluma and Sonoma, two Bay Area cities, approved to accelerate the minimum wage rates currently set forth in California’s minimum wage schedule, by adopting their own local minimum wage ordinances last month.

In Petaluma, effective January 1, 2020, employers with 26 or more employees must pay their employees $15.00 per hour. Smaller employers with 25 or fewer employees must pay their employees $14.00 per hour. Effective January 1, 2021, employers, regardless of the number of employees, must pay their employees $15.00 per hour plus the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area which is published by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Sonoma Minimum Wage Ordinance will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 per hour for large employers (26 or more employees) and $12.50 per hour for small employers (25 or fewer employees), effective January 1, 2020. These rates will each increase $1.50 per hour on January 1, 2021 ($15.00 per hour for large employers and $14.00 per hour for small employers), and then by $1.00 each subsequent year until January 1, 2024.

Employers will be required to post notices reflecting these rate changes, and if found to be in violation of these ordinances, employers may be subject to administrative citations, penalties and other fees, as well as potential lawsuits.

As always, if you have any HR questions or need assistance, please contact JorgensenHR at (661) 600-2070, email or visit

Source: Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP

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