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San Francisco and Berkeley Update Ordinances on October 1

Updates for the Berkeley Minimum Wage Ordinance and San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance go into effect on October 1, 2018.

Berkeley Minimum Wage Increase

On October 1, Berkeley’s minimum wage rate will increase from the current $13.75 per hour rate to $15 per hour. The Ordinance requires an employer to pay a local minimum wage to any employee who works at least two hours in one calendar week within the geographic boundaries of the city of Berkeley. The rate is higher than the state’s minimum wage, which is $10.50 with 25 or less employees, and $11.00 with 26 or more employees.

Furthermore, Berkeley’s minimum wage rate will increase again on July 1, 2019, and each July 1 thereafter, the rate will increase by the prior calendar year’s increase, if any, in the regional Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Employers can find more information about Berkeley’s minimum wage and required posting at


San Francisco Amended Fair Chance Ordinance

San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO), a “ban-the-box” law that sets restrictions on employers obtaining and using an applicant’s criminal history, was amended in April of this year, and those amendments went into effect on October 1, 2018.

The FCO applies to employers located or doing business in San Francisco with five or more employees located anywhere, as opposed to the previous 20-employee threshold. Additionally, employers will be prohibited from inquiring about, requiring disclosure of or basing employment decisions on a conviction for a crime that has been decriminalized – including the non-commercial possession, use and cultivation of marijuana.

The amendment also revises the rules when an employer can ask applicants about criminal convictions. Previously, an employer could ask about an applicant’s history either after a live interview or after a conditional offer of employment is made. Under the amended ordinance, employers will only be permitted to inquire about criminal convictions after a conditional job offer has made.

The FCO continues to have posting, notice and recordkeeping requirements, including requiring employers post a notice for employees in San Francisco locations. All employers, including those who were already subject to the FCO prior to the amendments, will have to update their poster. The poster must be posted in English, Spanish, Chinese and any language spoken by at least 5 percent of the employees at the workplace. Employers can find more information and updated poster at sfgov.org/olse/fair-chance-ordinance-fco.

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