California Minimum Wage for 2016, 2017
Contents :: California Minimum Wage
California's state minimum wage rate is $10.50 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. You are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to most employees in California, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.†
The California minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $2.50 from $8.00 to $10.50. California's minimum wage rate is linked to a Customer Price Index, which is intended to raise the rate along with inflation. The current minimum wage rate is re-evaluated yearly based on these values.
The current minimum wage of $10.50 per hour is effective from January 2017 for employers in California with 26 or more employees. Employers with 25 or fewer employees have a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour. In September 2013 California passed House Bill AB10, which approved the first minimum wage raise for Californians in six years. The bill raised the California Minimum Wage to $9.00 per hour effective July 2014, and continued with the current increase in 2017.
LOCAL MINIMUM WAGES IN CALIFORNIA
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: $12.25, increasing to $13.00 (7-1-16), $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 will be $10.50 on 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 $11.00 to increase to $13.00 (1-1-17) and $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 $11.52 increasing to $12.30 (1-1-17) and $13.00 (1-1-18). Small business exemptions are available.
- Sacramento: will increase the minimum wage for businesses with 40 or more employees on January 1 2017 to $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 $12.25 to be increased to $13.00 (7-1-16), $14.00 (7-1-17) and $15.00 (7-1-18) to be adjusted annually for inflation thereafter.
- San Jose: currently $10.30 with annual cost of living increases.
- Santa Clara: currently $11.10 and will increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index for the previous year beginning in January 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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California Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters
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.
The California minimum wage poster, and additional required California labor law posters, are also available on the California labor law posters download page.
California Overtime Minimum Wage
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 California overtime pay). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (California law does specify 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 Tipped Minimum Wage - See Here - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a lower cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $10.50 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the California tipped minimum wage.
Local Minimum Wage Rates in California
While California's state minimum wage is $10.50 per hour, there are localities that have set their own, higher minimum wages that apply to some or all employees within their jurisdictions. The following is a table of all California localities with established minimum wage laws.
|Locality||Applies To||Minimum Wage||Comparison to State|
|El Cerrito||All employees||$12.25||+$1.75|
|Emeryville||55 or less employees||$13.00||+$2.50|
|56 or more employees||$14.82||+$4.32|
|Los Angeles||All employees||$10.50||Same|
|Mountain View||All employees||$13.00||+$2.50|
|Palo Alto||All employees||$12.00||+$1.50|
|Pasadena||25 or less employees||$10.50||Same|
|26 or more employees||$10.50||Same|
|San Diego||All employees||$10.50||Same|
|San Francisco||All employees||$13.00||+$2.50|
|San Jose||All employees||$10.50||Same|
|San Mateo||All employees||$12.00||+$1.50|
|Santa Clara||All employees||$11.10||+$0.60|
|Santa Monica||25 or less employees||$10.00||-$0.50|
|26 or more employees||$10.50||Same|
Frequently Asked Questions - California Minimum Wage & Labor Law
- What is the California minimum wage?
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.
- How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin 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 $16,020.00 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!
1 These earnings estimates do not account for the California income tax , federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
2 Poverty line for a family of two in the lower 48 published 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services