Living Wage Ordinance

Matthew H. Hymel, County Administrator

The Living Wage Ordinance (LWO) is a locally adopted ordinance, established in 2002, which requires County contractors and subcontractors to provide a minimum wage to their employees higher than the state-minimum wage, while doing work for the County of Marin. The LWO rate also applies to County employees.

Specifically, the Ordinance applies when a contractor or subcontractor has in excess of $25,000 in cumulative annual business with the County. The Living Wage Ordinance does not apply to private employers while not doing business with the County of MarinAdditionally, under the LWO, an employee is required to be compensated at the LWO wage rate by their private employer only during hours worked for the County of Marin (e.g. for services provided under a contract with the County). The LWO does not require that private employers pay the County's LWO wage rate for hours worked not for County business.

The LWO (Chapter 2.50 of the Marin County Code) requires that the County Administrator (CAO) provide an annual report to the Board of Supervisors on the effect of the LWO, if any. At that time the County Administrator's Office also makes a recommendation regarding a wage rate adjustment for the ensuing calendar year based on the prior year change in the San Francisco Bay Area Consumer Price Index (CPI), as published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On November 15, 2022, the Board of Supervisors approved 5% increase in the Living Wage Rate. Effective January 1, 2023, this policy requires County contractors and subcontractors to provide the following to their employees: (1) wages of at least $16.80 per hour if no health benefits are provided; or (2) the payment of at least $14.80 per hour with health benefits

Effective date

County LWO rate
(without benefits)

State min. wage 
January 1, 2023   $16.80   $15.50
January 1, 2022  $16.00  $15.00
January 1, 2021 $15.40  $14.00
January 1, 2020  $15.25  $13.00
January 1, 2019  $14.80  $12.00
January 1, 2018  $14.20  $11.00
January 1, 2017  $13.80  $10.50

New, continued, extended or otherwise amended contracts are required to incorporate the living wage in effect at the time of the contract change.