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Eureka Fair Wage Act (2014)

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The Eureka Minimum Wage Ordinance Initiative, also known as the Eureka Fair Wage Act, ballot question will be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Eureka in Humboldt County, California.

This measure would, if approved, increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour, with the exception of small businesses employing 25 or fewer workers. The minimum wage throughout the state of California is $8 per hour as of January 1, 2014.[1]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The title given this initiative measure by the city attorney is:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Minimum Wage Ordinance[1]

EurekaFairWageActlogo.jpg

Summary

The city attorney provided the following summary of the Minimum Wage Ordinance:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

If approved by the voters, this initiative would add a new chapter to the Eureka Municipal Code to provide that employers, who employ 25 people or more within the City of Eureka shall pay employees no less than a minimum wage of $12 for each hour worked beginning ninety (90) days after the approval of the initiative by voters.

Under the proposed initiative, beginning on January 1, 2014 and each year thereafter, the minimum wage would be increased by an amount corresponding to the previous year’s cost of living increase. The cost of living increase would be measured by the consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, U.S. City Average for All Items. The minimum wage requirement would be applicable to Welfare-to-Work programs subject to limitation that participants would not be required to work more than a number of hours equal to the value of all cash benefits received during the applicable benefits period. The minimum wage requirement would also be applicable to nonprofit corporations within eighteen (18) months after voter approval. The proposed initiative designates the City Attorney as the public official responsible for promulgating guidelines or rules to assist employers and employees in determining their rights and responsibilities under the ordinance; publishing the adjusted minimum wage each year; reviewing employer’s payroll records; investigating all reported violations, and; initiating a civil action or issuing administrative citations to employers who violate the proposed ordinance.[1]

Full text

Read the full text of the proposed legislation here.

Support

Supporters

A coalition of residents and groups filed the petition for the "Fair Wage Act" and helped to gather the requisite signatures. This coalition included members who were active in the following groups:[2]

  • Occupy Eureka
  • Veterans for Peace
  • Richardson Grove Action Now
  • People Project
  • Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community

Graphics contest

The backers of the proposed Minimum Wage Ordinance organized a contest to find the best graphic to represent the movement. A $100 dollar prize was offered for the graphic that took first place in the contest. Below are the two images that took first and second place in the graphics contest.[3]

Second place winner: Jaimal Kordes
First place winner: Talon Gibbs

Opposition

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in California

On February 7, 2013, minimum wage increase supporters turned in approximately 2,700 signatures to the city clerk. These signatures were verified by the city clerk and county elections office and the initiative petition was certified. This gave the city council the choice to pass the ordinance as presented or to set an election in which to present the ordinance to a vote of the people. The Eureka City Council voted to 5 to 1 against enacting the ordinance, opting to put the measure on the November 4, 2014 election ballot instead. Linda Atkins was the only city council member who was in favor of enacting the ordinance rather than sending it down to a voter decision.[4]

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