California Employees are Entitled to the Highest Minimum Wages in the Country

July 23, 2021

With the exception of Washington, D.C.’s $15.00 hourly minimum wage, California has the highest minimum wage in the country. While momentum is building to increase the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage has not changed since 2009. As a result, states, counties, and cities have been the primary drivers of increasing minimum wages nationwide.

Below, we summarize the minimum wages set by the State of California and other cities within the State. Employers must pay employees the highest applicable minimum wage.

CALIFORNIA STATE MINIMUM WAGE

Effective Date - January 1, 2021

  • $14.00 per hour - Large Employers (26+ employees)

  • $13.00 per hour - Small Employers (25 or less employees)

Effective Date - January 1, 2022

  • $15.00 per hour - Large Employers (26+ employees)

  • $14.00 per hour - Small Employers (25 or less employees)

Effective Date - January 1, 2023

  • $15.00 per hour - Large Employers (26+ employees)

  • $15.00 per hour - Small Employers (25 or less employees)

Further details, including information about the rare exceptions to California’s minimum wage requirements, can be found on the Labor Commissioner’s website.

CITY OF LOS ANGELES AND UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF LA COUNTY

Effective Date - July 1, 2021

  • $15.00 per hour - Large Employers (26+ employees)

  • $15.00 per hour - Small Employers (25 or less employees)

2021 MINIMUM WAGES FOR CALIFORNIA CITIES

Effective January 1, 2021

Alameda - $15.00 per hour

Berkeley - $16.07 per hour

Emeryville - $16.84 per hour

Fremont

  • $15.00 per hour (26 or more employees)

  • $13.50 per hour (1-25 employees)

Malibu

  • $15.00 per hour (26 or more employees)

  • $14.25 per hour (1-25 employees)

Milpitas - $15.40 per hour

Novato

  • $15.24 per hour (100 or more employees)

  • $15.00 per hour (26-99 employees)

  • $14.00 per hour (1-25 employees)

Pasadena

  • $15.00 per hour (26 or more employees)

  • $14.25 per hour (1-25 employees)

San Francisco - $16.07 per hour

South San Francisco - $15.25 per hour

San Leandro - $15.00 per hour

Santa Monica

  • $15.00 per hour (26 or more employees)

  • $14.25 per hour (1-25 employees)

Santa Rosa - $15.20 per hour

Effective July 1, 2021

Alameda - $15.00 per hour

Berkeley - $16.32 per hour

Emeryville - $17.13 per hour

Fremont

  • $15.25 per hour (26 or more employees)

  • $15.00 per hour (1-25 employees)

Malibu - $15.00 per hour

Milpitas - $15.65 per hour

Novato

  • $15.24 per hour (100 or more employees)

  • $15.00 per hour (26-99 employees)

  • $14.00 per hour (1-25 employees)

Pasadena - $15.00 per hour

San Francisco - $16.32 per hour

South San Francisco - $15.25 per hour

San Leandro - $15.00 per hour

Santa Monica - $15.00 per hour

Santa Rosa - $15.20 per hour

If a locality has not set its own minimum wage that is higher than the State minimum wage, the State minimum wage applies.

Please be aware that several cities set special minimum wages for workers in particular industries. For example, the City of Los Angeles provides, effective July 1, 2021, a minimum wage of $17.64 per hour for hotel workers working in hotels with 150 or more rooms.

For employees, it is important that you are paid all wages owed, including all applicable minimum wages. You should check your paystubs to make sure you are being properly paid. If you think you are not being paid all your wages, please contact the attorneys at Freeburg & Granieri, APC today.

For employers, now is the perfect time to review your payroll policies and practices. The liability for failing to pay your employees minimum wages can have devastating effects on your business. Please contact the attorneys at Freeburg & Granieri, APC today to have your payroll policies and practices reviewed.

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