Half Moon Bay Proposed Local Minimum Wage

UPDATE: Staff presented research and outreach feedback to the City Council at the Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 17. Following the presentation, the City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance establishing a local minimum wage of $15 per hour that will take effect on July 1, 2020. 

Please click on the following links to view the Staff Report and Attachment A to the staff report and the video of the presentation to the council.

Staff is currently developing a draft ordinance that will be presented at a future City Council meeting in early 2020.  


The City of Half Moon Bay is considering a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2020:

  • The City Council made raising the minimum wage a priority in July 2019.

  • The City Council is considering establishing a $15 per hour minimum wage in Half Moon Bay on July 1, 2020. If implemented, all employees working within the geographic boundaries of Half Moon Bay would be subject to paying the local minimum wage for employees working two or more hours a week within the geographic in the City, including non-profit organizations.

  • Starting on January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in the State of California for all industries will be $13.00 per hour for businesses with more than 26 employees and $12.00 per hour for businesses with less than 25 employees. Recent State legislation was signed which will raise California’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2022. After January 1, 2023, future wage increases will be tied to inflation, reflecting increases in the Consumer Price Index, up to 3.5% per year.

  • The City would be following the model set by other cities in San Mateo County that have already enacted local minimum wage ordinances (San Mateo, Belmont, Redwood City, Daly City, South San Francisco and Menlo Park). All of these cities are set to reach at least a $15 local minimum wage between 2020-2021.

  • State, federal, and county agencies, including school districts, shall not be required to pay the local minimum wage when the work performed is related to their governmental function. The City is not considering any other exemptions at this time.

  • The City may consider a phased-in approach based on feedback received from our local business community. 

Minimum Wage Studies:

The following studies were referenced in staff research on the impacts of local minimum wage policies:

Study NameResearch GroupLink
Minimum Wage Effects in Low-Wage Areas
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (UC Berkeley)
https://irle.berkeley.edu/files/2019/07/Minimum-Wage-Effects-in-Low-Wage-Areas.pdf 
The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs: Evidence from the United States Using a Bunching EstimatorCenter for Economic Performance (London School of Economics)http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1531.pdf 
The New Wave of Local Minimum Wage Policies: Evidence from Six CitiesCenter on Wage and Employment Dynamics (UC Berkeley)https://irle.berkeley.edu/files/2018/09/The-New-Wave-of-Local-Minimum-Wage-Policies.pdf 
The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum WageCongressional Budget Office https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-07/CBO-55410-MinimumWage2019.pdf 
Minimum Wage Increases and Individual Employment TrajectoriesNational Bureau of Economic Researchhttps://www.nber.org/papers/w25182.pdf 
Through the Minimum Wage Looking Glass: Economic Consensus UnrealizedUniversity of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Managementhttps://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty-and-research/anderson-review/minimum-wage-primer-leamer 

Click Here to view an Inventory of US City and County Local Minimum Wage Ordinances, prepared by the UC Berkeley Labor Center.

Check back regularly for updated information. If you have any questions, please contact Victor Gaitan at 650-750-2010 or vgaitan@hmbcity.com