Living Wage Ordinance

The City of Watsonville Living Wage Ordinance (PDF) was adopted on September 24, 2002 (Ordinance number 1136-02). This ordinance requires that persons working on City of Watsonville contracts, for services specified in the ordinance, be paid a living wage while working on the City of Watsonville contract.

Who Should Comply With the Living Wage Ordinance

Private sector contractor/employer entering into a contract with the City, with cumulative compensation amount in one City fiscal year (July through June) greater than $10,000.

Any employee of a contractor or subcontractor while employed in providing service under the City contract should be paid a living wage. For profit contractors include the following:
  • Automotive repair and maintenance
  • Equipment maintenance service
  • Facility and building maintenance
  • Furniture moving and installation/maintenance
  • Janitorial and custodial
  • Laundry
  • Office and clerical services
  • Pest control
  • Recreation
  • Recycling services
  • Security
  • Towing
  • Transportation and shuttle
  • Tree trimming and removal
  • Any other service determined by the City as meeting the intent of this chapter


This ordinance does not apply to contractors with five or fewer employees, where prevailing wage applies and is more than living wage, to employees who are members of a collective bargaining unit or labor union, are below the age of 18 or students who are involved in a training program.

The City Council may grant an exemption if compliance with living wage will cause great economic hardship, is otherwise necessary for the public welfare or is due to unusual circumstances.

City of Watsonville Living Wage & to Whom it Applies

Covered employees include full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal workers and under the ordinance they shall be provided with, or able to afford health insurance and have reasonable time off.

Effective from December 1, 2014, the current rate for minimum compensation to employees is:
  • If benefits are provided, a wage no less than $13.72 per hour.
  • If benefits are not provided, a wage no less than $14.98 per hour.

What You Need to Do

If your business is required to comply with the living wage ordinance for contracts of services with the City of Watsonville, the first step is to file a Living Wage Ordinance Certification Form (PDF) with the City of Watsonville. Please complete this form and mail it to the Finance Department:
250 Main Street
Watsonville, CA 95076

The ordinance requires that employees working for your firm on this contract be notified that the living wage ordinance applies to them. As part of the compliance with the living wage and City contracts, employers are required to notify affected employees (PDF). You may also download the employee notification form for your employees in Spanish (PDF).

Also be advised that the City may request any or all certified payrolls associated with this contract, however, any such request will be made to your firm in writing and you will be provided 14 calendar days to respond. The City may also conduct on-site audits to verify compliance. These audits may include, but are not limited to, employee interviews.

Employee Complaints

A covered employee may report in writing to the Compliance Officer of the City of Watsonville any alleged breach by a contractor for private sector services. To file a complaint please use the following address:
Compliance Officer
City Manager's Office
275 Main Street
Suite 400
Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone: 831-768-3010
Fax: 831-761-0736