Sample Local Ordinance - San Francisco Minimum Wage

​​​​​​​​The City and County of San Francisco (the City) enacted a minimum wage ordinance (the MWO) that requires you to pay any employee who works at least two hours in one particular week within the geographic boundaries of the City at the local minimum wage (the San Francisco minimum wage).1​​

You can find more information regarding the MWO on the City's Minimum Wage Ordinance webpage. You can also contact the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (the OLSE) by phone at (415) 554-6292.

Minimum Wage Rate

Effective July 1, 2017, the San Francisco minimum wage is $14 per hour.2 Future increases are as follows:

Effective Date
San Francisco Minimum Wage (per hour)
7/1/2018

$15

July 1 each following year

Increase tied to the Regional Consumer Price Index

  • The San Francisco minimum wage is higher than the California state minimum wage. You must pay the (higher) San Francisco minimum wage to employees who are eligible for it.

The minimum wage for Government Supported Employees is determined annually by the City Controller.3 Government Supported Employees include:

  1. Employees under 18 employed in an after-school, summer training or apprenticeship program subsidized by the federal, state or local government; and
  2. Employees over the age of 55 employed by a nonprofit corporation operating as of January 1, 2015 that provides social welfare services as a core mission to individuals over the age of 55, in a position subsidized by the federal, state or local government. The number of employees that may be considered “Government Subsidized Employees” within a corporation is subject to a cap.

You can find the current San Francisco minimum wage on the City's Minimum Wage Ordinance webpage.

Coverage and Eligibility

A covered employee (employee) under the MWO is any employee who:

  • performs at least two hours of work in one particular week in San Francisco, whether full or part time; and
  • is entitled to payment of a California minimum wage or participates in a specified welfare to work program.4

You must pay employees at least the San Francisco minimum wage for each hour worked in San Francisco.5 The San Francisco minimum wage applies to employees working in San Francisco, regardless of where the employer is located or whether the employee is a San Francisco resident.

Employees cannot waive their right to receive at least the San Francisco minimum wage, except through a valid collective bargaining agreement.6

You do not need to pay the San Francisco minimum wage to individuals who are not entitled to the state minimum wage. For more information on these types of employees, see Minimum Wage .

You can find additional information regarding application of the MWO to your business in a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Posting, Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements

The MWO requires you to post an official, City-provided notice specifying the minimum wage and describing employee rights. The City will publish this notice in all languages spoken by more than five percent of the City’s workforce. You must post the notice in English, Spanish, Chinese and any other language spoken by at least 5 percent of the employees at a location, even if not one of the City-identified languages. You may have to translate the City-provided notice.

The notice must be posted in a conspicuous place at all locations where employees work.7

In addition, you must display the California Minimum Wage Order, which can be found on CalChamber’s California and Federal Labor Law poster.

At the time of hire, you must provide employees your company’s name, address and telephone number in writing.8

State law also requires you to provide the Wage and Employment Notice to Employees (Labor Code section 2810.5) at the time of hire to all nonexempt employees that includes this information and meets the obligation under the MWO.9 More information about the notice can be found on the HR Library's New Employee Orientation webpage.

You also are required to retain payroll records pertaining to employees for a period of four years.10 The OLSE must be permitted access to these records during business hours, with appropriate notice.

If you do not keep adequate records documenting wages paid or you do not allow the OLSE reasonable access to payroll records, it will be presumed that you paid no more than the applicable federal or state minimum wage. You will have to offer clear and convincing evidence to rebut this presumption.

Enforcement

The MWO is enforced by the OLSE.11 The OLSE may conduct investigations and take administrative or civil action to enforce the MWO. If the OLSE investigates whether the employer violated the MWO, the employer will be required to post a notice on a form provided by the OLSE informing employees of the investigation.12 The OLSE is required to make every effort to resolve complaints prior to initiating formal action.13

If the OLSE determines that an employer violated the MWO, it may issue an administrative citation and order back pay, reinstatement, an administrative penalty to each employee whose rights were violated in the amount of $50 for each day, or part of a day, of the violation. The OLSE may also order the employer to pay to the City up to $50 for each day of the violation for each Employee whose rights were violated.14

The OLSE may also issue administrative penalties of $500 per violation per day, or part of a day, for failing to post any required notice, failing to maintain payroll records or failing to allow OLSE to inspect payroll records. The penalty amount is $1000 per employee if the OLSE determines the employer retaliated against an employee. For more information, see “Retaliation” on this page. The OLSE will increase the penalty amounts by 50 percent for each subsequent violation within three years The maximum penalty amount for these types of violations is $5,000 per calendar year, or $10,000 if the citation involves retaliation. The OLSE may also assess enforcement costs, which do not count toward the maximum penalty amounts.15 The OLSE also has the authority to take other enforcement actions, such as revoking or suspending your permits or licenses, until the violation is remedied.16Additionally, if the OLSE determines that an employer violated the MWO, the OLSE may require the employer to post a notice of the violation on a form provided by the OLSE.17

In addition to the OLSE’s authority to take action to enforce the MWO, the City Attorney, aggrieved employees, entities acting on behalf of a member who is an aggrieved employee, or persons or entities acting on behalf of the public, may file a civil lawsuit for any violation of the MWO.18

Remedies for violations of the MWO may include: reinstatement, back pay; penalties of $50 per day to each employee whose rights were violated, for each day that the violation occurred; interest on wages owed; and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The California Labor Commissioner also has the authority to investigate and enforce local minimum wage and overtime provisions, including the MWO, and to issue citations and penalties against employers for violations. However, the Labor Commissioner and the OLSE cannot both cite the employer for the same violation.

Retaliation

Employees who assert their rights under the MWO are protected against retaliation.19 For example, employees have the right to complain to their employer that they are not being paid the San Francisco minimum wage; file formal complaints; inform other employees of their right to the San Francisco minimum wage; or assist other employees in asserting their rights.

If an employer takes adverse action against an employee within 90 days after the employee asserted rights protected by the MWO, it will be presumed this action was retaliatory. The employer will have to offer evidence to rebut this presumption.


1. San Francisco Admin. Code secs. 12R.3, 12R.4

2. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.4

3. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.3, 12R.4(b)

4. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.3

5. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.4

6. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.8

7. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.5(a), (b)

8. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.5(b)

9. Lab. Code sec. 2810.5

10. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.5(c)

11. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.7

12. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.7(c)(3)

13. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.7(b)

14. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.7(c)(2)

15. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.16(b)

16. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12RR.7(c)(2)

17. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.7(f)

18. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R R.7(d)

19. San Francisco Admin. Code sec. 12R.6