Minimum Wage

Santa Monica's minimum wage law sets general and hotel worker wages and mandates paid sick leave. 

  • The minimum wage is $16.90 per hour and will increase to $17.27 per hour effective July 1, 2024.  This amount increases annually by the published Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Works (CPI-W) for the Los Angeles metropolitan area (LA-Riverside-Orange County, CA) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Santa Monica posts the new rates annually on or near January 1st.
  • The wage for hotels and businesses operating on hotel property is $19.73 per hour and will increase to $20.32 per hour effective on July 1, 2024.  This rate aligns with the City of LA's Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Rate.  Santa Monica will post these new rates annually on or near May 15th.
  • The paid sick leave provision requires Santa Monica employers to provide 40 hours (small businesses) or 72 hours (larger businesses) of paid sick leave

The ordinance also includes service charges, first-time workers, enforcement provisions, and a limited exemption for employers providing transitional jobs.  To apply for the Transitional Jobs exemption, please email  For other details, see the wage tables and other information below.

Minimum Wage Ordinance   Hotel Living Wage Ordinance   Hotel Worker Safety Ordinance   Rules and Regulations   

FAQ (English)  FAQ (Spanish)   

To report a problem or get help:

Legal Notices

Employers must post Santa Monica notices.

  • At a minimum, employers must post Santa Monica's legal notices in English and Spanish.  
  • Businesses must also post notices in any other language spoken by five percent or more of the employer's workforce.  
  • Legal notices are available for download below.  Please contact to request the legal notices in an additional language. 

Please see below for legal notices valid from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024, and the legal notices valid from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025. These contain updated minimum wage and hotel worker living wage rates.

Wage Rate & Paid Sick Leave Tables

Minimum Wage Rates

(as of July 1 each year)
YearBusinesses with 26 or more employeesBusinesses with 25 or fewer employeesAll Hotels
(CA State Minimum Wage)

* Increases by annual Consumer Price Index each year. Figures are updated annually with new rates.
** Hotel Wage rate is announced in May to align with City of LA's hotel wage rates.

Sick Leave Provisions

Businesses with 26 or more employeesBusinesses with 25 or fewer employees
72 hours40 hours

Notes: Employees accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers can provide leave up front, and employer plans can be more generous.

Complying with Other Minimum Wage Laws

The State of California, the City and County of Los Angeles, and other jurisdictions also have minimum wage laws. Santa Monica employers must comply with all relevant laws.  Where requirements conflict, the employer must follow the law that is most generous to employees.

Resources - Businesses & Workers

Ordinance Details

General Minimum Wage

Businesses must comply with the local minimum wage starting July 1, 2016.   The minimum wage rate is aligned with unincorporated Los Angeles County.

  • Each year, effective on July 1st, the annual minimum wage rate is adjusted by Consumer Price Index and aligned with LA County (unincorporated) rates.  
  • Limited exemption for transitional employers
  • Limited exemption for first-time workers (85% of local minimum wage for the first 160 hours)
  • Limited exemption for employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

Hotel Worker Living Wage + Hotel Worker Protection

The hotel worker wage is based on Santa Monica’s commitment to supporting a vibrant and equitable tourism industry in parity with the region/Los Angeles hotel wages.

  • Applies to all hotels, apart from Santa Monica’s youth hostels
  • Includes a one-year hardship waiver provision for hotels that would need to reduce employment by more than 20% or reduce hours by more than 30% to avoid bankruptcy
  • Applies to businesses that contract, lease, or sublet on hotel property or provide services on hotel property
  • Limited exemption for employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Please note that the City of Santa Monica also adopted the Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance to protect hotel workers from violent or threatening conduct, provide fair compensation for workload, support hotel worker retention, and requires public housekeeping safety training.  

Paid Sick Leave

The Santa Monica ordinance requires paid sick leave for full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. Note that paid sick leave benefits are greater than the State Requirements.

  • Employers must comply starting January 1, 2017.
  • The law requires 40 hours for small businesses (businesses with 25 or fewer employees in Santa Monica), and 72 hours for larger businesses (businesses with 26 or more employees in Santa Monica).
  • Employers may provide paid sick leave using the accrual method or frontloading (all required leave provided at the start of the year).  
  • The accrual rate is one hour for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employees must carry over accrued, unused paid sick leave annually (calendar year, fiscal year, or hiring date) up to the accrual cap.
  • Employers may provide sick leave at the start of the year as a whole rather than by accrual, as long as this provides leave consistent with the required accrual amounts.  In this case, no carryover is required.  
  • Other paid sick leave plans will comply if equal to or more generous than the ordinance.
  • Sick leave use and all other detail follow the California State AB 1522 guidelines.

First-Time Workers

Employees working for the first time in an activity in which they have no previous similar or related experience can earn 85% of the minimum wage for the first 160 hours of employment.

  • This is the same language as the State “learner” provision.
  • City staff can provide further guidance regarding what constitutes similar or related experience, if needed.


The ordinance prohibits retaliation against employees for rights protected under the minimum wage law.  Employees have the right to file civil claims, and employers violating the law can be subject to administrative or criminal penalties.  Employers must cooperate with investigations.  The City enforces its minimum wage law through Los Angeles County's Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA).

This is intended as general information only and does not carry the force of legal opinion. The information is provided as a public 

For more information, wage help, questions or to report a problem please contact the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs:

Phone: 800.593.8222