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California City to Pursue Virus-Related Minimum-Wage Delay

March 26, 2020, 3:12 PM

A minimum-wage increase that was to take effect July 1, 2020, in Hayward, Calif., may be delayed several months under a measure approved March 24 by the city council.

The increase could take effect Jan. 1, 2021, rather than July 1, 2020, a council referral memorandum said. The council is to try to address the issue April 7 meeting, the memo said.

The planned increase may be delayed because of the “impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the limited time before July 1, 2020,” the memo said. Future annual increases also could be delayed and start Jan. 1, 2022, the memo said.

The council on Feb. 4 unanimously adopted the minimum-wage increases that are to take effect July 1, requiring large employers with more than 25 employees to pay an hourly minimum wage of at least $15 and small employers to pay an hourly minimum wage of at least $14.

However, since the minimum-wage ordinance was adopted in February, local businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 prevention measures that have been implemented by local, state, and federal agencies, a referral memorandum said, noting that the “unexpected and near-term impacts created by COVID-19" have made it prudent to consider the delay to reduce pressure on local businesses.

Hayward is one of almost two dozen cities in the San Francisco area that recently established minimum wages that are about $15 an hour: Alameda, Belmont, Berkeley, Cupertino, Daly City, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Fremont, Menlo Park, Milpitas, Mountain View, Novato, Oakland, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, Santa Clara, South San Francisco, and Sunnyvale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Pulfrey in Washington at cpulfrey@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Trimarchi at mtrimarchi@bloombergtax.com

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