A Look at Local Ordinances and How They Interact With State Law

May 09, 2024 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Mike McCluskey, Senior Technical Editor, CalChamber

California is divided into 58 counties, in which there are 482 municipalities (cities, towns and villages) — and many take lawmaking matters into their own hands. These laws created by local governments, such as a city council or county board of supervisors, are known as local ordinances, and these most often cover real estate development and zoning, or rental building requirements. Many California jurisdictions, however, are increasingly implementing employment law-related local ordinances — which can complicate compliance efforts for employers with employees doing work in these areas.

While most such ordinances address minimum wages, some ordinances in the Bay Area specific to commuter benefits affect employers, and several municipalities have introduced ordinances covering paid sick leave, fair workweek and fair chance initiatives, as well as protections for hotel workers.

“For instance, covered hotel employers are required to have enhanced safety measures in place, along with workload caps and higher wages,” says CalChamber Employment Law Subject Matter Expert Vanessa Greene, who specializes in California local ordinances. “Additionally, fair workweek ordinances demand that employers offer predictable schedules in sectors such as retail and hospitality.”

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