The Fremont City Council is currently considering whether or not to establish a citywide ordinance that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour at a faster rate than the State mandates. The current statewide minimum wage is $10.50 per hour for small businesses and $11 per hour for large businesses.
In April 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that introduced a phased increase in the minimum wage from $10 per hour to $15 per hour over the course of seven years. According to this mandate, small employers with 25 or less employees and large employers with over 25 employees are required to pay their minimum wage employees $15 per hour by 2023 and 2022 respectively.
Following the signing of the State’s minimum wage legislation, the Cities Association of Santa Clara County recommended to its members that they adopt local minimum wage ordinances that would fast-track the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour by 2019. To date, eight of the 15 cities in Santa Clara County have adopted local ordinances, targeting 2018 or 2019 for the $15 hourly minimum wage. Among Alameda County’s 13 cities, three have adopted minimum wage ordinances targeting $15 per hour by 2018 or 2020.
In Fremont, the proposed minimum wage ordinance would most directly affect employees in occupations such as security guards, food service and retail positions, building and ground cleaning positions, child care workers, and personal care positions. In addition, the 2018 Silicon Valley Index estimates that jobs paying at or close to the minimum wage constitute almost a third of total employment in Silicon Valley.
While adoption of this minimum wage ordinance could help some families remain housed and achieve a higher level of economic self-sufficiency, it also may impact the City’s efforts to attract new retail establishments and cause some businesses to increase product prices and decrease hours for minimum wage employees.
The City of Fremont requests input from residents and community stakeholders via an online survey on Fremont Open City Hall, the City’s online civic engagement forum. Please visit our website to take the survey and provide your feedback by mid-October. The survey is also available in Spanish and Chinese.