SCDP Proposes Changes to the County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance

SCDP Proposes Changes to the County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance

The Sonoma County Democratic Party Central Committee voted in favor of the following changes to the County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance. See footnotes for precedent and reasoning.

  1. Include a paid sick leave provision that provides 12 paid sick days and personal leave days (and 10 unpaid) to all covered employees.
  1. Include a provision which requires county contractors to offer more hours to part-time employees who so request prior to hiring new part-timers
  1. Revise the Employee Retention section (Section 2-286), such that all qualified workers employed by the previous contractor must be retained by a new contractor for sixty days. If the new contractor does not have enough positions to retain all workers employed by the previous contractor (who request continued employment) then the contractor shall hire back laid-off employees by seniority.[1]
  1. Include a ‘responsible bidder’ provision.[2]
  1. Approve a COLA for 2022 for all covered employees, as required in Section 2-337.[3]
  1.  Amend Section 2-380 (contractor certification and eligibility) to require that the county develop model language for notices to be posted (in English and Spanish) at contractor worksites and distributed by contractors to covered employees. [4]
  1.  Expand coverage of employees to include county contractors, concessionaires, franchisees, and lessees at the county airport and the county fair.[5]

After the board completes the revision of the Living Wage Ordinance, the North Bay Labor Council and North Bay Jobs with Justice will propose a separate ordinance for labor peace. Such an ordinance will protect the proprietary interests of the County by ensuring there will be no strikes or work stoppages if employees of a county contractor seek to affiliate with a union, and that these employees are provided a fair process for determining union representation.

[1] This is consistent with state janitorial retention law passed in 2002 (AB 350 Displaced Property Service Employee Opportunity Act). Sonoma County complied with AB 350 in 2016 in the case of a new janitorial contract with ABM Onsite Services.

[2] San Francisco and Santa Cruz, the cities of Los Angeles and San Jose, and all three Sonoma County municipal ordinances (Sebastopol 2003, Sonoma, 2004, and Petaluma 2006) include responsible bidder.

[3] All of the municipal ordinances in the county have an automatic annual COLA each year subject to review by the City Council. The COLA has been applied every year in each city without exception since each ordinance was implemented.

[4] This change is consistent with the noticing language in our three local ordinances and almost all ordinances elsewhere in California. 

[5] A 2021 report by economist Jeannette Wicks-Lim at the University of Massachusetts Amherst about the costs for paid sick leave, the COLA, and expanding the ordinance to coverage of workers at the county airport and county fair is at this link: