Labor Standards

The Labor Center’s research on labor standards focuses on minimum wage and living wage policies, and their effects on employment, workers, firms, and the public.

Research & Publications
UC Berkeley Labor Center

Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances

Across the country, cities and counties have become laboratories of policy innovation on labor standards. Before 2012, only five localities had minimum wage laws; currently, 56 counties and cities do. To help inform policymakers and other stakeholders, the UC Berkeley Labor Center is maintaining an up-to-date inventory of these laws, with details on wage levels, scheduled increases, and other law details, as well as links to the ordinances.

Julie Light

What difference would a $25/hr wage make to health care workers?

Despite being applauded for their essential role and dedication during the COVID pandemic, many low-wage health care workers struggle to make ends meet. A recent UC Berkeley Labor Center Study study looks at what a proposal before the California State Legislature to raise the health care minimum wage to $25 an hour would mean for workers, patients, and industry.

Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

Proposed health care minimum wage increase: What it would mean for workers, patients, and industry

This report shows that the proposed California Senate Bill No. 525 (SB 525), which would establish a new $25 per hour minimum wage for health care employees, has the potential to substantially improve conditions for low-wage health care workers that provide essential services to the state, ameliorate staffing shortages in the industry, and improve quality of care.

Lance Compa

Failure to Deliver: Assessing Amazon’s Freedom of Association Policy under International Labor Standards

Amazon recently announced a new policy on freedom of association under international standards, saying it would comply with International Labor Organization and United Nations principles on union organizing and collective bargaining. This assessment shows that Amazon’s freedom of association policy, on its face, is non-compliant with international labor standards, and Amazon management’s conduct before and after issuing the policy continues to violate international standards.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Labor Center Research on the Rideshare Industry

Prop 22 carves out an exception from state labor law for app-based transportation and delivery gig companies, including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart, allowing the companies to continue to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Labor Center chair Ken Jacobs and economics professor Michael Reich have produced several papers that examine the implications of Prop 22 compared to employee status for drivers, consumers, taxpayers, and the companies.