October 2, 2017

New Berkeley Paid Sick Leave Ordinance to Take Effect October 1, 2017

BY: Jonathan Judge, L. Brent Garrett, Robert Fried

Berkeley’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance took effect October 1, 2017.  The Berkeley minimum wage also increased on October 1, 2017.  And earlier this month, the City issued new guidance on its Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace and Paid Sick Leave Ordinances.  The details of the Ordinances are outlined below.

Minimum Wage

Berkeley’s current minimum wage is $12.53 per hour and is scheduled to increase as follows:

October 1, 2017 $13.75
October 1, 2018 $15.00
October 1, 2019 Increase according to Consumer Price Index

Paid Sick Leave

Earlier this month, the City issued a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) regarding the new Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.  Below is a summary of key points of the FAQ:

  • The Ordinance did not address frontloading. However, the FAQ allows employers to provide sick leave as a lump sum at the beginning of each employment year, calendar year, or other 12-month period, so long as the employee can accrue additional sick leave after working enough hours to have accrued the amount allocated upfront.
  • The FAQ provides that sick leave may be used for a minimum increment of one (1) hour, and after the initial hour in each occurrence, sick leave can be used in increments of 15 minutes thereafter.  (Note that the Ordinance does not parallel State law on this respect).

For more information regarding the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, please see our previous update.

Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance

The Berkeley Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance requires that certain employees working in the city have the right to request a flexible or predictable work schedule and that the employer must respond in writing within 21 days to any request for a flexible or predictable work schedule.  The City issued a FAQ on the Ordinance earlier this month.

Below is a summary of key points of this Ordinance:

  • The Ordinance applies to employers with 10 or more employees.
  • An employee must be employed for at least three (3) months and work at least eight (8) hours per week in a regular basis to request a flexible or predictable schedule.
  • Employers may deny a request for a flexible or predictable schedule, but must provide a written response setting forth a business reason for the denial.
  • If you have any questions regarding implementation of any of the new Ordinance requirements for Berkeley or other California locations, please contact the authors or your usual employment counsel.


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Attorney Bio(s)


Jonathan Judge




Jonathan Judge is a partner in the Cerritos office of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. He advises employers in labor and employment law and various employment litigation matters, including drug testing, mass layoffs, disparate impact analysis, WARN Act, trade secrets, privacy, technology in the workplace, piece rate compensation, municipal and state sick leave, local, state and federal minimum wage law, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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L. Brent Garrett

L. Brent Garrett




Brent Garrett is a partner and exclusively represents management in labor and employment matters. Mr. Garrett has extensive experience in traditional labor law matters, including representing employers in unfair labor practice (ULP) charges, union elections, administrative hearings, grievance arbitrations, and collective bargaining. Mr. Garrett routinely appears before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He regularly trains management teams on the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

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Robert Fried




As a trial and appellate advocate, he has successfully represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court and other state and federal appellate courts on labor relations issues.

full bio