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Compliance Department

When Does the Living Wage Ordinance Apply?

The Living Wage Ordinance (LWO) applies on City of San Diego service contracts and subcontracts. The LWO may also apply to City facility agreements. When the Ordinance applies, contractors and subcontractors must comply with LWO employer requirements. Complaints of non-compliance may be made through submittal of LWO Employee Complaint Form/ Formulario de Quejas.

Covered Employees include full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal workers. Academic interns and participants in job training programs for basic skills are NOT included.

Services means work such as: janitorial; landscaping; security; laundry; parking; pest control; facility maintenance; street cleaning; right-of-way maintenance; waste collection/disposal, including recycling; water and wastewater maintenance; warehouse work; auto maintenance/repair; office/clerical; concessions/retail sales; cashiers; onsite food service/preparation; ushers and wheelchair attendants; ticket takers; child care; emergency medical personnel; and other types of work consistent with the LWO's intent.

Contracts Not Included are construction; legal; purchase/lease of goods or property; engineering; design; financial; technical; operating; medical (except service contracts for emergency medical personnel); management; banking; and advertising.

Exemption requests are processed for approval by the Living Wage Program and pertain only to a single contract. If the LWO applies, a contractor may submit an LWO Application for Exemption  for any of the following reasons:

  • Firm employs 12 or fewer employees, including parent and subsidiaries.
  • Business operating as a sole proprietorship with no employees and will not utilize subcontractors.
  • Firm is 501(c)(3) non-profit and highest salary is less than 8x hourly rate of lowest salary.
  • A Collective Bargaining Agreement specifically supersedes the LWO.