Menlo Park minimum wage to rise to $15.75 per hour | January 7, 2022 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - January 7, 2022

Menlo Park minimum wage to rise to $15.75 per hour

by By Kate Bradshaw

In Menlo Park, the new year brings with it a new increase in the minimum wage.

As of Jan. 1, it's $15.75 per hour, up 50 cents from last year.

The increase is derived from from the maximum allowed inflation adjustment of 3% per hour, which was $0.46, rounded up to the next increment of $0.05.

Prices in the San Francisco area rose 3.7% between August 2020 and August 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Labor and measured by the "Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers."

As part of that, food prices rose 5.1%, energy prices increased 21.5% while other items overall increased by about 2.5% over the course of the year. Gasoline prices were up 36.4% over the year while electricity was up 9.3%. Recreation rose 12.9%, and new and used motor vehicles rose 12.8%, according to a September press statement from the agency.

The new minimum wage applies to Menlo Park employees working at least two hours or more per week, and applies only to businesses located within the geographic boundaries of incorporated Menlo Park; unincorporated areas are not subject to the law.

Employers are expected to post the city-provided official notice to all employees in a visible place.

Employees have a right to file a complaint and inform the city about any minimum wage violations and to inform people of their potential rights and help others to report a business not complying with the city's local minimum wage regulations.

To report a suspected violation, people should contact the Menlo Park City Manager's office. Access the contact form at is.gd/minwage.

Complaints are considered confidential "to the maximum extent permitted by law," according to the city website.

Minimum wages in other cities

Here's how other communities' minimum wages stack up. Palo Alto's is $16.45, while Santa Clara, Los Altos and Cupertino have raised the pay floor to $16.40. Redwood City's and San Jose's minimum wage rose to $16.20 on Jan. 1. Mountain View and Sunnyvale's rose to $17.10, the highest minimum wage in the region.

Even the highest minimum wages in Santa Clara County are still far away from the living wage for the region, which is approximately $27.29 for one adult with no children, according to the Living Wage Calculator designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The wage hikes come as the region sees a lopsided economic recovery. Giant tech companies are booming and well-positioned to weather the pandemic, while consumer-facing businesses that mainly rely on minimum wage workers, such as retailers, restaurants and hotels, continue to struggle, reports found.

"There is a concern that (the wage increases) could have a chilling effect on businesses that are already in uneven recovery," Derrick Seaver, head of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, told San Jose Spotlight. "And a lot of times, wage increases or increases in business costs overall are simply passed on to consumers, and that tends to impact folks that are on the lower end of the income scale."

Tran Nguyen of San Jose Spotlight contributed to this report.

Email Staff Writer Kate Bradshaw at [email protected]

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