League of Women Voters of California
Adoption of ordinance pertaining to establishment of local minimum wage requirements
City of Santa Monica
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
13,860 / 48.31% Yes votes ...... 14,830 / 51.69% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Shall Ordinance No. 2015 (CCS) establishing local minimum wage requirements, initially set at $10.50 per hour with health care benefits, or at $12.25 per hour without health care benefits, applicable to the City, its service contractors, and private businesses, which are located in the coastal and downtown areas and have gross annual receipts over $5 million, and establishing an exemption for businesses which show severe economic hardship, be adopted?
Four categories of employers would be covered by the law. First,it would apply to the City of Santa Monica as to all City workers. Second, it would apply to any City contractor or subcontractor working on a service contract as to employees working under that contract. Third, it would apply to any private business operating at a location in designated portions of the coastal area and downtown and having gross receipts of over $5 million per year at that location for the past two years. This gross receipts threshold would be adjusted annually. Fourth, the requirement would also apply to certain other entities doing work for businesses in category three, including contractors, subcontractors, lessees or sublessees performing part of the business activities of a category three employer. Covered employees of category three and four employers would be those employees working at the site in the designated portion of the coastal and downtown area.
The measure provides for an exemption based upon severe economichardship. An employer who contended that compliance would cause severe economic hardship could apply to the City Manager for a waiver applicable to all or part of the employer's workforce. The general criteria for determining hardship are specified in the measure. They include whether paying the minimum wage would render the employer's business nonviable, whether the business relies upon young people and other first-time workers employed on a seasonal basis and whether granting a waiver would otherwise advance the policies underlying the measure. Specific criteria and procedures would need to be established in order to implement the hardship exemption.
The measure also contains sections prohibiting circumvention of the minimum wage requirements, specifying that the requirements could be waived in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement, and prohibiting retaliation against workers who assert their rights under the measure. Additionally, the measure provides for criminal, civil and administrative remedies. The administrative remedy provision would authorize an employee claiming rights under the measure to make a complaint to the City Manager, and require the Manager or Manager's designee to investigate and make a determination. If a violation was found, the City could issue orders to the employer. A refusal to comply with such orders could result in revocation of the employer's business license. Administrative determinations would be appealable to a hearing officer, and the hearing decision could be reviewed in court. This measure may be challenged on constitutional and other legal grounds. Additionally, there could be significant implementation costs for the City, including administrative costs.
|Arguments For Measure JJ||Arguments Against Measure JJ|
|Supporters of Measure JJ say:
2,000 maids, janitors and kitchen workers in Santa Monica's luxury beach
hotels will be helped by the passage of this law. Living wage laws in
dozens of cities around the country have clearly reduced poverty and
helped the poor. Without a living wage, workers and their families are
forced into overcrowded living conditions, cannot afford health care and
sometimes cant feed their families without food stamps.
Two years ago, the luxury beach hotels sponsored a deceptive living wage law. Voters in Santa Monica defeated it by a 4-1 margin. The City of Santa Monica after two years of community input and discussion, adopted a meaningful living wage law that ensures a fair wage for workers and their families while also being fair to business. The hotels blocked the law and prevented workers from receiving the living wage.
Measure JJ will save up to an estimated $16 million in taxpayers money. The most comprehensive study on living wage laws shows that these ordinances reduce poverty and the need for public benefits.
Without a living wage, both working families, and the taxpayer, subsidize luxury hotels. The living wage ensures that employers pay their fair share.
Measure JJ protects business. Any business experiencing financial difficulty is eligible for a hardship exemption.
Official ballot arguments in support of Measure JJ are signed by:
Don't let Measure JJ's supporters confuse the issue. As much as they would like to have you believe it's all about hotels, the real issue is whether Santa Monica residents are willing to place jobs, local businesses and important City services at risk with an ill-conceived and unfair law.
We think Measure JJ is a bad law for Santa Monica because it would:
- Require the City to divert millions of dollars of scarce resources away from important community programs, such as schools, parks and public safety. As the largest employer covered by Measure JJ, the City will be forced to increase salaries and hire more bureaucrats to enforce the law.
- Discriminate between businesses based solely on their location, including restaurants, retailers and even car washes. Some affected businesses have threatened litigation based on this denial of equal treatment which could cost the City millions of additional dollars.
- Discriminate in favor of those businesses with union contracts in order to gain an exemption allowing them to pay lower wages. This exemption seems designed to reward the support of organized labor for certain politicians.
- Result in a loss of jobs and job opportunities as employers cut back on operations and cease hiring unskilled workers.
- Force many businesses, including restaurants, retailers and several senior citizen homes to significantly raise prices, to leave Santa Monica and to discourage new businesses from coming.
Support workers, businesses, yourselves and other residents by voting NO on Measure JJ.
|While Measure JJ may have good intentions, this flawed ordinance will
have serious unintended consequences. Measure JJ will force cuts in
vital services by costing the City $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 for
increased salaries to City employees, contractors, and bureaucracy, a
cost which will mount every year.
Measure JJ will force reductions in funding for schools, parks, public safety, neglected capital improvements and other crucial services.
Measure JJ discriminates by forcing certain selected businesses within an arbitrary portion of Santa Monica to pay a minimum wage more than 80% higher than anywhere else in California while their competitors in the region are not required to do so. It discriminates in favor of those businesses with union contracts in order to gain an exemption allowing them to pay lower wages. Some businesses have threatened litigation based on this denial of equal treatment which could cost the City millions of additional dollars.
Measure JJ will force many businesses including restaurants, retailers and several senior citizen homes to significantly raise prices, to leave Santa Monica and discourage new businesses from coming.
Measure JJ will result in the loss of jobs for young and unskilled workers needing the opportunity to get a summer or part time job or enter the work force to start a career.
Official ballot arguments in opposition to Measure JJ are signed by:
The most comprehensive study on living wage laws shows that these ordinances reduce poverty and the need for public benefits.
The 2,000 low-wage workers covered by Measure JJ are eligible for poverty subsidies totaling an estimated $16 million annually.
A living wage with full family benefits for these 2,000 workers in Santa Monica's luxury hotels virtually eliminates the cost of these subsidies.
Without a living wage, both working families and you, the taxpayer, subsidize luxury hotels.
Without a living wage, workers and their families are forced into overcrowded living conditions, cannot afford health care and sometimes can't feed their families without food stamps.
The living wage simply ensures that employers pay their fair share.
The fact is a living wage saves taxpayers' money--fewer people on welfare, more people able to take care of their families.
Measure JJ not only protects taxpayers, it protects business, too. Any business experiencing financial difficulty is eligible for a hardship exemption.
Please vote "YES" on Measure JJ, the living wage law for workers in Santa Monica's luxury hotels.