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What is California Minimum Wage?

Effective January 1, 2017, the California minimum wage for all industries will be increased yearly until January 1, 2022:

Date Minimum Wage for Employers with 25 Employees or Less Minimum Wage for Employers with 26 Employees or More
January 1, 2017 $10.00/hour $10.50/hour
January 1, 2018 $10.50/hour $11.00/hour
January 1, 2019 $11.00/hour $12.00/hour
January 1, 2020 $12.00/hour $13.00/hour
January 1, 2021 $13.00/hour $14.00/hour
January 1, 2022 $14.00/hour $15.00/hour
January 1, 2023 $15.00/hour

There are some exceptions to California’s minimum wage laws and they may be subject to future changes. The California Labor Commissioner maintains a helpful website answering some of the most frequently asked questions regarding California’s minimum wage.

Important Note: California’s minimum wage is mandatory, meaning that it cannot be waived by agreement or offset by an employee’s tips.

Important Note: California’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage. Nevertheless, California employers are subject to both California and federal minimum wage laws.

Important Note: California wage laws only apply to “employees” – not “independent contractors.” However, employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid complying with California’s wage laws. To learn more about the difference between employees and independent contractors, please click here.

Are there any county or city specific minimum wages in California?

Yes, there are some counties and cities in California that have a higher minimum wage than established by the state. For example:

  • City of Berkeley: Currently $16.07 per hour. This wage is set to increase on July 1, 2021.
  • City of Cupertino: Currently $15.65 per hour.
  • City of Emeryville: Currently $16.84 per hour.
  • City of Los Altos: Currently $15.65 per hour.
  • City and County of Los Angeles: Currently $14.25 per hour. This wage is set to increase on July 1, 2021.
  • City of Malibu: Currently $15.00 per hour.
  • City of Mountain View: Currently $ 16.30 per hour. .
  • City of Oakland: Currently $14.14 per hour. Annual increases are based on the Consumer Price Index.
  • City of Palo Alto: Currently $15.65 per hour.
  • City and County of San Francisco: Currently $16.07 per hour. This wage is set on July 1, 2018.
  • City of San Jose: Currently $ 15.25 per hour. This wage is set to increase on January 1, 2018.
  • City of San Mateo: Currently $15.62 per hour. This wage is set to increase on July 1 each year until 2020.
  • City of San Clara: Currently $15.65 per hour.
  • City of Santa Monica: Currently $15.00 per hour.

These local governments may have different minimum wage ordinances for different industries. For more information regarding a specific city’s or county’s minimum wage, please consult that city’s or county’s ordinances. Additionally, UC Berkeley maintains a list of US city and county minimum wage ordinances on its website.

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:

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Arvin Pearlman was the first and only attorney that we consulted.

Arvin Pearlman was the first and only attorney that we consulted and could not be happier that we chose him to represent us. I truly realized that Arvin had me and my family’s best interest at heart. Once we made it to trial, all we kept thinking was how glad…

I want to express my sincere thanks to you.

I want to express my sincere thanks to you for getting justice for my son and restoring my hope in humanity. After his death, I labored for over one-and-a-half years to find an attorney to file the case. I am grateful to you and your firm for your unwavering belief in this case.

I’m so appreciative.

You and your team handled everything so professionally and have been so personable and compassionate. In particular, your paralegal was wonderful to me, showed me and others such empathy, and made everything so smooth. I will be happy to recommend your firm to anyone who needs legal help.

Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic.

Tad Roumayah helped me seek a settlement with my former employer to my satisfaction. He is a man of integrity, who has an exceptional knowledge of the law. Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic make him an outstanding attorney who is capable, meticulous, and diligent.

Your firm has tremendous skill and ethics.

Over the years I have referred cases to your firm in general and to Norm specifically knowing that the client would be handled with care and competence. I have always found that to be the case.

I will always recommend Mr. Watkins and Sommers Schwartz.

After meeting Mr. Watkins in person and working with him during the proceedings, I realized that the words in his website bio were true. He is a FIGHTER for his clients. No matter what time of day I called, he immediately returned my call. I am glad I made an EXCELLENT decision in selecting him.

Your advice and guidance were spot on.

I was not sure what to expect and was worried about the out come. Throughout the process you both demonstrated understanding for the emotional roller coaster your clients were going through, keeping us on track.

Should my son become half the lawyer as those I have met at your firm he will be successful.

My oldest son just passed the Colorado Bar. I firmly believe that should my son Chris become half the lawyer as those I have met at your firm he will be successful.

Ken Watkins and his team did an excellent job!

I really didn’t think we had a case, but Ken Watkins and his team did an excellent job and got us a nice settlement without going to trial. He always did what was best for us and was sympathetic to our feelings. Everyone at Sommers Schwartz was friendly and helpful,…

Our Clients Say It Best

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40 5-star reviews on Google