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Minimum Wage For Californians

The highest minimum wage set by federal, state, county, and city law applies to the worksite at which the employee works.  In other words, employees are entitled to the highest of the minimum wage set by the jurisdiction in which they work.

This means that some employees in the Golden State will see an increase on their next paycheck because of minimum wage increases effective July 1, 2021.

Statewide Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2021, California’s statewide minimum wage became $14 per hour for companies with 26 or more employees, and $13 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees.

The statewide minimum wage will continue to increase until it hits $15 per hour for all companies in 2023.  Some cities and counties have “local ordinances” setting higher minimum wage than the state law.

City & County Minimum Wage

Many cities and counties in California have their own ordinances setting the minimum wage higher than the statewide minimum wage.

Effective January 1, 2021
Jurisdiction Minimum Wage (per hour)
Alameda $15
Berkeley $16.07
Emeryville $16.84
Fremont $15 (26 or more employees)
$13.50 (1-25 employees)
Los Angeles* $15 (26 or more employees)
$14.25 (1-25 employees)
Malibu $15 (26 or more employees)
$14.25 (1-25 employees)
Milpitas $15.40
Novato $15.24 (100 or more employees)
$15 (26-99 employees)
$14 (1-25 employees)
Pasadena $15
San Francisco $16.32
South San Francisco $15.24
San Leandro $15
Santa Monica $15 (26 or more employees),
$14.25 (1-25 employees)
Santa Rosa $15.20/hour
Effective July 1, 2021
Jurisdiction Minimum Wage (per hour)
Alameda $15
Berkeley $16.07 + Consumer Price Index (“CPI”)
Emeryville $16.84 + CPI
Fremont $15 + CPI (26 or more employees),
$15 (1-25 employees)
Los Angeles* $15
Malibu $15
Milpitas $15.40 + CPI
Novato $15.24 (100 or more employees),
$15 (26-99 employees), and
$14 (1-25 employees)
Pasadena $15
San Francisco $16.32 + CPI
South San Francisco $15.24
San Leandro $15
Santa Monica $15
Santa Rosa $15.20/hour

 

*Covering areas of Los Angeles City & Unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County.  Sites showing the boundaries are herehere, and here.

Salary Increases

For employees to be exempt from hourly pay, overtime, and breaks, California law requires that:

  • Job Duties.  The employee perform exempt duties 50%+ of their work time; and
  • Minimum Salary Threshold.  Employees exempt pursuant to the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions must earn a salary of no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.

The minimum salary threshold amount is based on the state minimum wage amount — i.e., (state minimum wage x two) x 2,080 hours = minimum salary threshold.

  • Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum salary threshold is $58,240 per year for employers of 26 or more employees, and $54,080 per year for employers of 25 or fewer employees.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum salary threshold is $62,400 per year for employers of 26 or more employees, and $58,240 per year for employers of 25 or fewer employees.
  • Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum salary threshold is $62,400 per year for all employers regardless of size.

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Those with questions about their own situation should contact Colby Law Firm.

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