January 18, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Equal Living Wage Benefits for Same Sex Couples in Santa Monica:

The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an ordinance during its April 26 meeting to amend the City of Santa Monica’s Living Wage Law to require its contractors to not only provide a living wage, but also to “provide the same health care and other benefits to workers’ same sex spouses and domestic partners as are provided to other workers’ spouses.”

The council also directed staff to make a review of the groups exempt from the Living Wage Law, specifically City grantees, nonprofit corporations, and corporations providing banking services. Through this direction, the council hoped to gain insight as to how the exemptions applied to the Living Wage Law versus the Equal Benefits Ordinance with respect to execution of the approved provision.

City Attorney Marsha Jones Moutrie said, “The ordinance was prepared as an amendment to the City living wage law; that was done so that we would already have a mechanism in place to ensure compliance.”

Under the ordinance, whenever the City awards a contract of more than $54,200 to a contractor, that service provider must “pay a minimum wage to employees working on the contract for work done on the contract,” unless the contractor is a grantee, nonprofit corporation, or corporation providing banking services. However, for any worker associated with a grantee, nonprofit, or corporation providing banking services, the ordinance calls for “the contractor (to) provide the same benefits to same sex spouses and domestic partners as are provided to other employees’ spouses.”

As a few major California cities have already passed a similar measure, the Council’s ordinance would “ensure that City contractors do not discriminate against their employees based on sexual orientation and marital status.” Some of those cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, and Berkeley.

“This requirement would ensure that City contractors covered by the Living Wage Law would not discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation or marital status,” Jones stated in her staff report to the Council. “Thus, for instance, an employer that offered health insurance and other benefits to spouses would have to provide the same benefits to same sex spouses and to domestic partners… The ordinance would assist in effectuating the principle of “equal pay for equal work.”

Jim Carroll, interim executive director of Equality California, indicated the council’s action at its April 26 meeting was necessary.

“The equal benefits ordinance is an important measure that would help California businesses, including businesses here in Santa Monica, while at the same time helping ensure equality by making sure tax dollars do not go to those who discriminate,” Carroll told the Council. “This ordinance would prohibit the City from contracting with entities that provide benefits to their employees with opposite sex spouses but not to employees with same sex spouses or domestic partners.

“This smart economic policy will also help continue Santa Monica’s leadership as the cutting edge city that values diversity and promotes equality, “ Caroll said.

Mayor Richard Bloom agreed with Carroll’s take on the unanimous approval of the ordinance, adding while Santa Monica was not the first city to institute such a non-discriminatory measure protecting same sex unions and domestic partnerships, he hoped the council’s decision would inspire similar action among other activists and municipalities.

“This is a relatively small but significant step that helps us ensure that those who do business with the City of Santa Monica will not discriminate against couples who live together in same sex unions,” Bloom said. “I would encourage activists out there in other cities to remind their own city councils that this is an action they can take to undermine discrimination that still, unfortunately, exists in our society.”

in News
Related Posts

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Edify TV: Overhaul for Canyon Property?

January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021

A unique Santa Monica Canyon property may be getting an overhaul. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions: Santa Monica Beat – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions...

65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Food Review: The Westside’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene By Kerry Slater In a city filled with...

Santa Monica Pier Closed for Five Days in a Row

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

City cites warm weather forecasted for Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro With temperatures reaching the 80s expected, city officials are...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Fire Department Rolls Out Vaccinations

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

SMFD helps with rollout across county  By Chad Winthrop Beginning this month , Santa Monica Fire Department firefighters and paramedics...

SMC and MLK Westside Coalition’s 36th Annual Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Mon, Jan 18, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Online Only at 9am on Jan. 18th – Visit: MLKjrWestside.org  The Rev. Dr....

Assemblymember Richard Bloom Announces Intention to Run for L.A. County Supervisor

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

State rep. looking to replace Sheila Kuehl in 2022 By Sam Catanzaro With incumbent Supervisor Sheila Kuehl signaling she won’t...

Man Jumps to Death at Santa Monica Place

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Man jumps off parking structure in Monday suicide  By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide Monday after jumping off...

Santa Monica City Resumes Preferential Parking Restrictions: Santa Monica Beat – January, 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica City Resumes Preferential Parking Restrictions * La County Approves...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Pier Shut Down Weekends

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Santa Monica Pier has been shut down on weekends temporarily as COVID-19 cases rise in Los Angeles. Learn more in this...