California Minimum Wage 2016, 2017
New 2017 Minimum Wage Rates Added
A record 19 states have raised their minimum wage in January 2017, with increases in 2 other states and the District of Columbia set for July 2017!
Note to employers: You must update your minimum wage posters

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CA Minimum Wage
California's minimum wage is $10.50 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage. You are entitled to be paid the higher wage.

The minimum wage is $10.50 per hour for most employees in California, with exceptions for tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.[1]

The current minimum wage in California is $10.50 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more employees and $10.00 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. This wage went into effect on January 1, 2017.

In April 2016, California passed a minimum wage law increasing the states minimum wage incrementally to $15.00 per hour by January 1st, 2023 as follows:

Schedule for California Minimum Wage rate 2017-2023.


Minimum Wage for Employers with 25 Employees or Less

Minimum Wage for Employers with 26 Employees or More

January 1, 2017



January 1, 2018



January 1, 2019



January 1, 2020



January 1, 2021



January 1, 2022



January 1, 2023



Indexed annual increases based on the CPI will start January 1st, 2024.

In recent years many cities and municipalities in California have established their own minimum wage rates. Here is a list of the current rates along with future increases:

  • Berkeley: $12.53
  • Emeryville: $13.00 (7-1-16) increasing to $14.00 (7-1-17), $15.00 (7-1-18), and $16.00 (7-1-19)
  • Los Angeles (city and county): businesses with 26 or more employees is $10.50 as of July 1, 2016, with increases to $12.00 (7-1-17), $13.25 (7-1-18), $14.25 (7-1-19) and $15.00 (on 7-1 20). Businesses with 25 or fewer employees will be $10.50 on July 1, 2017, with increases to $12.00 (7-1-18), $13.25 (7-1-19), $14.25 (7-1-20) and $15.00 (7-1 21).
  • Mountain View: currently $13.00 (1-1-17) and will increase to $15.00 (1-1-18).
  • Oakland: currently $12.55 to be adjusted annually for inflation.
  • Palo Alto: currently $11.00 to be adjusted annually for inflation.
  • Richmond: currently $12.30 (1-1-17) and increasing to $13.00 (1-1-18). Small business exemptions are available.
  • Sacramento: minimum wage for businesses with 40 or more employees on January 1 2017 is $10.50, with further increases in January 2018 ($11.00), January 2019 ($11.75) and January 2020 ($12.50). Businesses with 39 or fewer employees will increase the minimum wage on January 1 2017 to $10.50, with further increases in July 2018 ($11.00), July 2019 ($11.75) and July 2020 ($12.50).
  • San Francisco: currently $13.00 (7-1-16) with further increases scheduled to $14.00 (7-1-17) and $15.00 (7-1-18) to be adjusted annually for inflation thereafter.
  • San Diego: currently $11.50 per hour(1-1-17). Starting January 1st 2019 any increase will be tied to Consumer Price Index.
  • San Jose: currently $10.30 with annual cost of living increases.
  • Santa Clara: currently $11.00 and will increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index for the previous year beginning in January 2017.

California's minimum wage does not apply to outside salespeople, or employees who are in the immediate family of their employer. Student workers may be paid as little as 85% of the minimum wage (rounded to the nearest nickel) for their first 160 hours of work.

Additional exemptions exist for disabled employees and workers at nonprofits where the employer has obtained a certificate from the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

California employers may not pay you under $10.50 per hour unless you or your occupation are specifically exempt from the minimum wage under state or federal law.

All California employers must display an approved California minimum wage poster in a prominent place to inform employees about the minimum wage and their worker's rights under California labor law.

If you have questions about the California minimum wage, please ask us and someone will respond to you as soon as possible. Looking for a new job? Use the free California job search utility to find local job openings hiring now.

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California wage data last updated January 2017 [citation]

California Minimum Wage & Labor Law Compliance Posters
Notification: Mandatory Labor Law Poster Updates
A record 19 states have raised their minimum wage in January 2017, with more changes coming in July 2017!. All employers in these states must display updated labor law posters with the new minimum wage rate.

Professional California Labor Law Posters - Updated for 2017

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California labor law requires all employers in California to visibly display an approved California minimum wage poster, and other California and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and California labor law and overtime regulations. Failure to display a California labor law poster in the workplace can result in severe fines.

California Minimum Wage Poster
Updated for 2017 - 24x36 heavy laminated California all-in-one labor law compliance poster including California minimum wage law and all mandatory workplace notices for full FLSA compliance.
Buy California Labor Law Poster

The California minimum wage poster, and additional required California labor law posters, are also available on the California labor law posters download page. Posters provided by Compliance Assistance.

California Overtime Minimum Wage

CA Overtime Wage
Daily Hours: 15
Weekly Hours: 40

All workers who put in over 40 weekly hours are entitled to a minimum wage of at least 1.5 times the regular applicable minimum wage (learn more about overtime pay in California). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (California does have a daily overtime limit).

The FLSA guarantees all CA employees adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If your employer does not pay adequate overtime wages, you can file an unpaid overtime claim with the California Department of Labor.

California Minimum Wage Exemptions

In addition to any California-specific minimum wage exemptions described above, the Federal Fair Labor Standards act defines special minimum wage rates applicable to certain types of workers. You may be paid under the California minimum wage if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • California Under 20 Minimum Wage - $4.25 - Federal law allows any employer in California to pay a new employee who is under 20 years of age a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
  • California Student Minimum Wage - $8.93 - Full-time high school or college students who work part-time may be paid 85% of the California minimum wage (as little as $8.93 per hour) for up to 20 hours of work at certain employers.
  • California Tipped Minimum Wage - $10.50 - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a special cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $10.50 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the California tipped wage.

Frequently Asked Questions - California Minimum Wage & Labor Law

What is minimum wage in California?

The current California minimum wage of $10.50 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee in California can legally be paid for hourly work. Special minimum wage rates, such as the "California waitress minimum wage" for tipped employees, may apply to certain workers.[1]

How much will I earn working a minimum wage job in California?

A full time minimum wage worker in California working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $84.00 per day, $420.00 per week, and $21,840.00 per year1. The national poverty line for a family unit consisting of two people is $14,570 per year.

What is the California under 18 minimum wage?

California employers may pay 18 year olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in California may exist.

I still can't find the answer to my question about the California minimum wage!

If you have read the FAQ and still cannot find the information you need, please contact us with your question.

1 These estimates do not account for the California income tax External Link, federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
The current California Min. Wage is $10.50 per hour as of 2017
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