Raise the Wage Davis is a ballot measure proposed in 2014 to raise the minimum wage in Davis to $15 per hour. The petition has not been submitted, so the measure has not been on an election ballot.

PDF of petition to the city clerk: living-wage.pdf

Text of Initiative


WHEREAS the state minimum wage has not kept pace with cost of living in California, including in the City; and

WHEREAS worker productivity has dramatically increased during the same period of time that the purchasing power of the state minimum wage has declined; and

WHEREAS families and workers in the City need to earn a living wage and public policies which help achieve that goal are beneficial; and

WHEREAS payment of a minimum wage advances the interests of the City as a whole by creating jobs that keep workers and their families out of poverty; and

WHEREAS a minimum wage ordinance will enable workers in the City to meet basic needs and avoid economic hardship; and

WHEREAS this ordinance is intended to improve the quality of services provided in the City to the public by reducing high turnover, absenteeism, and instability in the workplace; and

WHEREAS prompt and efficient enforcement of a minimum wage will provide workers in the City with economic security and the assurance that their rights will be respected.



This ordinance shall be known as the "Minimum Wage Ordinance."


This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the powers vested in the City of Davis under the laws and Constitution of the State of California including but not limited to Section 1205(b) of the California Labor Code.


The following terms shall have the following meanings:

A. "City" shall mean City of Davis.

B. "Employee" shall mean any person who:

1. In a calendar week performs at least two (2) hours of work within the geographic boundaries of the City for an Employer; and

2. Qualities as an employee entitled to payment of a minimum wage from any employer under the California minimum wage law, as provided under Section 1197 of the California Labor Code and wage orders published by the California Industrial Welfare Commission.

C. "Employer" shall mean any person, as defined in Section 18 of the California Labor Code, including corporate officers or executives, who directly or indirectly or through an agent or any other person, including through the services of a temporary services or staffing agency or similar entity, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of any Employee.

D. "Minimum Wage" shall have the meaning set forth in Section 4.


A. Employers shall pay Employees no less than the Minimum Wage for each hour worked within the geographic boundaries of the City.

B. Beginning January 1, 2015, the Minimum Wage shall be an hourly rate of eleven dollars ($11.00). Beginning July 1, 2015, the Minimum Wage shall be an hourly rate of thirteen dollars ($13.00). Beginning January 1, 2016, the Minimum Wage shall be an hourly rate of fifteen dollars ($15.00). Thereafter, the Minimum Wage shall increase annually, effective July 1st, in accordance with increases during the preceding year in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (CPI-U), as published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

C. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit an Employer’s discretion to provide its Employees hourly pay greater than the Minimum Wage.

D. All or any portion of this Section may be waived in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement, provided that such waiver is explicitly set forth in such agreement in clear and unambiguous terms.


A. The City shall publish and make available to Employers a notice describing Employees’ rights under this ordinance and announcing the adjusted Minimum Wage rate for the upcoming year.

B. Every Employer shall post in a conspicuous place at any workplace or job site where any Employee works the notice published each year by the City informing Employees of the current Minimum Wage rate and of their rights under this ordinance. Every Employer shall also provide each Employee at the time of hire with the Employer’s name, address, and telephone number in writing.

C. Employers shall retain payroll records pertaining to Employees for a period of four years, and shall allow the City access to such records, with appropriate notice and at a mutually agreeable time, to monitor compliance with the requirements of this ordinance. Where an Employer does not maintain or retain adequate records documenting wages paid or does not allow the City reasonable access to such records, the Employee's account of how much he or she was paid shall be presumed to be accurate, absent clear and convincing evidence otherwise.


A. It shall be unlawful for an Employer or any other party to discriminate in any manner or take adverse action against any person in retaliation for exercising rights protected under this ordinance. Rights protected under this ordinance include, but are not limited to: the right to file a complaint or inform any person about any party’s alleged noncompliance with this ordinance and the right to inform any person of his or her potential rights under this ordinance and to assist him or her in asserting such rights. Protections of this ordinance shall apply to any person who mistakenly, but in good faith, alleges noncompliance with this ordinance.

B. Taking adverse action against a person within ninety (90) days of the person's exercise of rights protected under this ordinance shall raise a rebuttable presumption of having done so in retaliation for the exercise of such rights.


A. An Employee or any other person may report alleged or suspected violations of this ordinance to the city manager or designee. The city manager shall establish a procedure for receiving and investigating such complaints and shall take appropriate enforcement action.

B. To the extent permitted by law, any complaints and related investigation documents shall be treated as confidential and exempt from disclosure in accordance with the Public Records Act.


The City may adopt guidelines or rules to establish procedures for ensuring fair, efficient and cost-effective implementation of this ordinance, including supplementary procedures for helping to inform Employees of their rights under this ordinance, for investigating and monitoring Employer compliance with this ordinance, for the manner in which a person may report a violation of this ordinance, for the establishing an administrative process to determine whether an Employer or other person has violated the requirements of this ordinance, and for enforcing this ordinance.


A. Where prompt compliance is not forthcoming, the City shall take any appropriate enforcement action to secure compliance, including:

1. The city manager or designee may issue an Administrative Citation in the maximum amount permitted by state law against any Employer or person who violates this ordinance.

2. The City may initiate a civil action for injunctive relief and damages and civil penalties in a court of competent jurisdiction. The City shall be entitled to recover its administrative costs of enforcement from an Employer who violates this ordinance.

3. Except where prohibited by state or federal law, the City may revoke or suspend any registration certificates, permits or licenses held or requested by the Employer until such time as the violation is remedied.

B. Any person aggrieved by a violation of this ordinance, any entity a member of which is aggrieved by a violation of this ordinance, or any other person or entity acting on behalf of the public as provided for under applicable state law, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against the Employer or other person violating this ordinance and obtain the following remedies:

1. Back pay for each day during which the employer failed to pay the Minimum Wage;

2. Reinstatement, compensatory damages, and punitive damages;

3. Injunctive or other equitable relief;

4. Reasonable costs and attorneys fees;

5. Any other relief the court deems just and proper.

C. This Section shall not be construed to limit an Employee's right to bring legal action for a violation of any other laws concerning wages, hours, or other standards or rights nor shall exhaustion of remedies under this ordinance be a prerequisite to the assertion of any right.

D. If a repeated violation of this ordinance has been finally determined, whether by administrative action or through judicial proceedings, the City may require the Employer to post public notice of the Employer’s failure to comply in a form determined by the City.

E. The remedies, penalties and procedures authorized under this Section are cumulative and are not intended to be exclusive of any other available remedies, penalties and procedures.


Nothing herein shall preclude the City from imposing a cost recovery fee on all Employers to pay the cost of administering this ordinance.


This ordinance is intended to apply in harmony with the City of Davis Living Wage Ordinance, such that all persons being paid hourly wages in the City are paid hourly wages in accordance with this ordinance or the City of Davis Living Wage Ordinance. Accordingly, this ordinance shall not apply to Employees who are required to be paid hourly wages in accordance with the Davis Living Wage Ordinance during the time they are required to receive such hourly wages.


This ordinance provides for payment of a local Minimum Wage and shall not be construed to preempt or otherwise limit or affect the applicability of any other law, regulation, requirement, policy or standard that provides for payment of higher or supplemental wages or benefits, or that extends other protections.


This ordinance may be amended by the City Council without a vote of the people as regards the implementation or enforcement thereof in order to achieve the purposes of this ordinance, but not with regard to lessening the substantive requirements of the ordinance or its scope of coverage.


This ordinance shall become effective at the earliest date permitted by state law. This ordinance is intended to have prospective effect only.


If any part or provision of this ordinance, or the application of this ordinance to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance, including the application of such part or provisions to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected by such a holding and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this ordinance are severable.

Web site



You must be logged in to comment on this page. Please log in.

2014-05-12 11:46:07   Reading this through, there is no restriction that the Employee has to be within the City, just the Employer has the Employee work within the City limits? That does concern me that the jobs in Davis will be getting numerous more applicants from West Sacramento, Woodland & Dixon, specifically because of the higher legal wage possible compared to equivalent jobs more local to them. Without any protections, that would have more Davis jobs filled by non-Davisites on average, yes? Sorta the same logic used to have stores like Target, etc in Davis so the money of the citizens is spent locally, except in this case, more would be going to non-citizens of Davis as it becomes very worthwhile to apply in our city than elsewhere. I know there is already some cross-over between cities naturally but this makes a Davis job much more tempting and desirable than any local one in one of the other cities. Not to mention the incentive for our chain stores, where someone in a neighboring city's branch of a chain applies to our local branch, and is hired because they are experienced and hence the local branch saves on training, leaving the Davisite to need to commute out-of-city for the lower-paying opportunity. Or am I missing something in the text or other existing City ordinance that employers consider local applicants by preference? —JeffWood

2014-08-19 22:01:04   Does this scenario include all businesses? A small business with under 10 employees would be completely and utterly hosed if this actually passed. —sjoe

2014-11-19 08:24:38   What concerns me is the number of jobs that will be lost due to such an extreme wage increase for what is, effectively, "unskilled labor". Although I would argue with the terminology. Anyone that thinks these jobs would not face a minimum 25% cut is fooling themselves. In addition, while the cost of living is effectively $10.24/hour for an individual working 40 hours per week in Yolo County ($11.34 within the city limits of Davis), it would make more sense to have the wage set to $12.00/hour and tied to cost of living increases moving forward as clarified in Section 4. It is more effective, more easily accomplished without hurting small business too much (whereas $15.00 would basically kill small mom and pop shops such as Armadillo Music. $15.00/hour, while it does sound appealing, it is too much and this is coming from a person who makes slightly more than minimum and works in the service industry. —Wes-P