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Santa Monica Council Expands Outreach for City's Minimum Wage Law

 
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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

August 11, 2017 -- Discovering that segments of the immigrant and restaurant workforce and some employers remain confused or uninformed of Santa Monica’s higher minimum wage, the City is expanding its public education campaign on the ordinance.

To help close the “information gap,” the City Council Tuesday added to initial “outreach” agreements the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, the Restaurant Opportunities Center-Los Angeles and Lee Andrews Group, which will work with Santa Monica business owners and managers.

KIWA will work with Santa Monica workers and minority-owned or operated businesses, under the agreement, which is for $20,000 for one year, with two-additional one-year renewal options. The overall four-year contract is not to exceed $92,400.

The contract with Restaurant Opportunities Center - Los Angeles also starts at $20,000, not to exceed $85,000 if renewed the entire four years.

Lee Andrews Group will receive a contract of $30,000 for one year with the four-year total not to exceed $130,000.

“Work with outreach groups is one part of the City’s outreach plan,” the report said.

“City staff has concurrently implemented a series of communication and marketing efforts related to each milestone of the increase in the minimum wage and paid sick leave benefits, as well as producing a variety of collateral materials and public service announcements.”

City staff also said more attempts to reach Santa Monica's minimum wage workers can be seen on posters on Big Blue Buses and Expo Light Rail.

Now in its second year, the law hiked the hourly minimum wage in July from $10.50 to $12 for businesses with 26 or more employees, or from $10 to $10.50 for employers with fewer workers ("Santa Monica City Council Votes to Hike Hourly Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour by 2020," January 14, 2016).

The higher minimum wage, which reaches $15 an hour by 2020, was approved in 2016 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and elsewhere in California.

In a report to the City Council on Tuesday, staff said initial feedback from local businesses regarding the City’s minimum wage ordinance indicated “they had heard of the law but did not know the specific requirements or provisions.”

Santa Monica employees at first also reported “a limited general awareness of the law, though they knew very little of the law’s specifics or its applicability to them,” the report said.

Although awareness increased subsequently, the report said feedback showed “information gaps still exist and could be narrowed by additional communication efforts.”

Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated the minimum wage will reach $20 by 2020. It will reach $15.

 


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