Equal Benefits Ordinance: Berkeley, Calif.

Passed on April 24, 2001
Effective on  July 1, 2001
Applies to

Contracts with:

  • Private companies for more than $25,000;
  • Non-profits for more than $100,000;
  • Companies that generate $350,000 or more in annual receipts that occupy city property; and
  • Companies that receive a grant for more than $100,000.
  • Only applies to the businesses’ operations with the city. However, if the actual work related to the city contract is being performed in another state, the law applies. Also applies to city-owned property outside of the city; and Does not apply to subcontractors.

Exceptions & Waivers

City manager can waive compliance if:

  • Contract is responding to an emergency.
  • The contractor is a sole-source provider.
  • There are no compliant contractors capable of providing goods or services.
  • The Equal Benefits Ordinance requirements are inconsistent with a grant or agreement with a public agency.
  • The city is purchasing through a co-op or joint purchasing agreement.
  • It is a specialized litigation contract.
  • The contract is for certain investments.


An employee who alleges violation of any provision of the law may report such act to the city. Once a report is made, the city manager investigates. If the manager finds that the law has been violated he or she can: void and terminate the contract and prohibit the contractor from future bidding for five years; require the payment of liquidated damages and/or require the payment of reasonable attorney fees. An aggrieved employee can also bring an action in Superior Court.


Berkeley Municipal Code, §13.29.030


City Manager
2180 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: 510-981-7000
Fax: 510-981-7099
Email: manager@ci.berkeley.ca.us