In the News

Senator Mike McGuire shares happenings in the State House

Read is Fall 2016 Newsletter

Fair Labor Standards Act Revisions take effect December 1, 2016 – Are you prepared?

Many of you are in the midst of finalizing your 2017 budgets and may be wondering how the recent updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations in regard to  minimum wage and overtime pay will impact your plans. On May 18, 2016 President Obama signed this so called “Final Rule” and the revised act will go into effect December 1, 2016.

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels. California’s progressive nature already requires overtime compensation for workers who make under $41,600 annually. In addition, California labor may claim overtime for hours worked over eight per day.

Four key provisions of the Final Rule include:

1.    Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913        per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker).

2.    Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the        90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and

3.    Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles        and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.

4.    Amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10                        percent of the new standard salary level.

Understanding how these revisions will impact your business should be discussed with your legal and accounting professionals. More information about the changes can be found in the FLSA Fact SheetAdditional resources and links to helpful articles and websites are available to members on the Sonoma County Lodging Association website at

Proposition 65 requirements take effect May 11

Proposition 65 has a new BPA warning notice requirement that will take effect May 11, 2016 and will impact all businesses with ten or more employees who sell or provide canned food or bottle beverages.  This requirement will impact some lodging properties in Sonoma County. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued the warning and explained that the obligation is primarily with the manufacturers and distributors however a manufacturer may serve a written notice to the retailer who then may be required to post the BPA warning at the point of sale (ie. register, vending machine and websites). If so advised, the manufacturer or distributor must provide point of sale warning signs to the retailer. For information on specifics of the written warning please visit

Chefs of Tomorrow benefit seven local culinary arts programs

“Clo & Rocky to the Rescue” was the theme of the 2016 Chefs of Tomorrow fundraising event April 21 hosted by the Sonoma County Lodging Association. A tribute to products donated by Petaluma Poultry’s Rocky Chicken and Clover Stornetta Farms, the annual event raises funds to ensure the sustainability and success of the culinary arts programs in local high schools. The event pairs culinary arts students with Sonoma County chefs to create their recipe for success and develop two appetizers incorporating the featured ingredients. The teams vie for the coveted Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards. This year’s winners included: Judge’s Choice - Casa Grande High School with Chef Gabe Nahas of Bacchus Restaurant at the Doubletree Hotel and People’s Choice – Healdsburg High School and Chef Marie Storum of Nectar Restaurant at Hilton Sonoma Wine Country. The Sonoma County Lodging Association thanks our sponsors and supporters who attended the event. PHOTOS and PRESS RELEASE

New Flights from Phoenix & Las Vegas start in May

Allegiant Air will start offering nonstop flights from Las Vegas via McCarran International Airport (LAS) begin May 19, 2016, with flights from Phoenix via the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) starting May 26. Both flights will be scheduled twice weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays, on a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, which seats 166. Allegiant becomes the second airline to operate flights out of the recently renovated and growing STS airport. Alaska Airlines offers flights to STS from Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle. 

North Bay tourism sees growth for 6th consecutive years

The Bay Area is the largest region for tourism in the state of California. Sonoma County reported $1.82 billion in tourism spending in 2015, an increase of 2.3%. 

Learn more: Press Democrat

Sonoma County Tourism unveils new marketing campaign

Sonoma County Tourism unveiled their new marketing campaign at their April 22 annual meeting. The campaign, referred to as #SonomaPassion, will showcase the scenery, agriculture, outdoor experiences, and food and wine for which Sonoma County is famous.

The multi-year campaign uses the passion that residents have for our area and reflects that passion that visitors have for a Sonoma County experience, from hiking on the coast to a day among the redwoods to a special food and wine excursion. The ads use a more informal photographic look that captures the casual yet elegant nature of the area, similar to those taken by visitors. 

Learn More: Sonoma County Tourism

Sonoma County supervisors reject ban on vacation rentals

For the last 18 months, SCLA has been actively engaged in discussions regarding changes to Sonoma County's Vacation Rental Ordinance. The follow story explains what has been accomplished with our involvement after the Board of Supervisor's Hearing on the matter Tuesday January 26th. We will be following the discussions closely as the details come together on the final draft of the new measure.  

Read the full story from the Press Democrat here ...

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