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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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A Client Talks about Andy Dragovic

My wife had an accident, tripping over a cable line that wasn’t buried. Andy represented us and were very pleased with the outcome. Andy was very professional, personable, and quick to respond to us, answering any of our questions or concerns. The whole firm was responsive to our concerns, and…

Praise for Dina Zalewski

The lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. were nothing short of amazing when I came to them with my medical malpractice case! Dina truly helped to put my mind at ease and because of her and her firm, I finally have closure and can begin my healing process! I just want…

Gratitude for Rob Sickels

When our world was shattered by an unexpected medical diagnosis, we were referred to Rob Sickels of Sommers Schwartz. What a blessing to get this referral as Rob listened to us with caring and compassion, spent all the time necessary to help us, was always honest with us about our…

A Grateful Client Talks About Dina Zalewski

Dina never lied to us and was very straightforward. I feel like she took me under her wing. She got me through something that I thought was going to be incredibly difficult for me to relive. Dina felt like a friend, somebody I could trust and look to for guidance….

About Dina Zaleski, Rick Groffsky, and Andy Dragovic

Dina, Rick, and Andy were amazing lawyers. They helped me through an incredibly difficult time in my life after losing my son. I wanted answers on why, and they helped me through the whole process and they got me answers. After I lost my son, I was severely depressed. Every…

A Medical Malpractice Client Recommends Matt Turner

Matt Turner and his whole staff have acted very professionally, respectfully, and responsively to my every need. I highly recommend him to represent you in any legal matter you may have. Thank you again for all your help and guidance.

Appreciation for Mary Pat Rosen

I want you to know how much I appreciate you and your staff’s kindness and desire to find justice for my husband. Life certainly has it’s turns and twist and we must learn to move with them to embrace peace and new beginnings.

Although a Claim Couldn’t Be Brought, a Client Told Mary Pat Rosen Meyers…

Thank you again for looking into everything, and we understand entirely that your hands are tied due to the statute of limitations in Michigan. We greatly appreciate both the effort you and your staff put in and the professionalism and kindness with which you did it.

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