BERKELEY, CA-The City of Berkeley is threatening to evict Skates, a local marina restaurant within seven days over its failure to comply with the city’s living-wage ordinance.

The city ordinance requires businesses to pay their workers at least $11.37 an hour if they do not provide medical benefits and $9.75 if they do. In addition, workers have the right to receive 12 paid days 10 unpaid days annually.

Seattle-based RUI One Corp., the owner of Skates on the Bay, has refused to comply with the terms of the ordinance while it pursues a lawsuit against the city. However, the restaurant’s lease at the city-owned marina requires that it comply with all city laws.

City officials have warned Skates that it has seven days to agree to comply with the living-wage ordinance. The city’s notice informed Skates that it was also required to pay its workers the living wage, including retroactive pay, within one month.

The owners of Skates say that this warning is unjust, as it forces them to comply even though they are pursuing legal action against the constitutionality of the ordinance. According to the city, however, Skates has not obtained an injunction against enforcement of the ordinance.

RUI says it is not contesting the living-wage ordinance itself, but claims that the amendment changed the terms of the 10,000-sf restaurant’s lease because it was introduced after the lease was signed.

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