On March 14, 2016, the Pasadena City Council adopted an ordinance to increase the city’s minimum wage. Beginning on July 1, 2016, employers with 26 or more employees must pay a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour to all employees who work at least 2 hours per week within the city’s geographic bounds. The minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour on July 1, 2017, and $13.25 per hour on July 1, 2018.

Employers with 25 or fewer employees will have a one-year grace period to comply with the ordinance and will be required to pay the $10.50 minimum wage beginning on July 1, 2017, and the $12.00 minimum wage as of July 1, 2018.

Employers must pay the increased Pasadena minimum wage for only the hours employees work within the city.

Notice and posting. Employers must provide all current employees (and new employees at the time of hire) notice of their rights under the minimum wage statute, as well as the employer’s name, address, and telephone number. Employers also must provide employees with notice that the employees may have a right to take the federal earned income credit. The employer also must post this information at the worksite.

Record retention. Employers must maintain relevant records for three years and make them available to employees upon request.

Presumed retaliation. The ordinance prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the ordinance. The ordinance presumes that an employer retaliated against an employee if the employer takes an adverse action against the employee within 90 days of the employee exercising his or her rights. This presumption is rebuttable.

Remedies. Possible remedies include back pay, reinstatement, attorneys’ fees, and triple back wages as liquidated damages. The city also may suspend an employer’s right to do business in the city.

Further increases on the horizon? No later than February 18, 2019, the Pasadena city manager must report to the Pasadena City Council with information regarding the ordinance’s impact on unemployment and the business climate. Upon receiving the report, the city council may amend the ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $14.25 on July 1, 2019, and $15.00 on July 1, 2020.

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Ogletree Deakins’ Wage and Hour Practice Group features attorneys who are experienced in advising and representing employers in a wide range of wage and hour issues, and who are located in Ogletree Deakins’ offices across the country.

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