California Minimum Wage for 2022, 2023
Contents :: California Minimum Wage
California's state minimum wage rate is $15.50 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 $7.50 from $8.00 to $15.50.
The current minimum wage in California is $15.50 for all employees. Some cities and counties have higher minimum wages than the state’s rate.
There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as outside salespersons, individuals who are the parent, spouse, or child of the employer, and apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards. There is an exception for learners, regardless of age, who may be paid not less than 85 percent of the minimum wage rounded to the nearest nickel during their first 160 hours of employment in occupations in which they have no previous similar or related experience. There are also exceptions for employees who are mentally or physically disabled, or both, and for nonprofit organizations such as sheltered workshops or rehabilitation facilities that employ disabled workers. Such individuals with licenses may have their licenses renewed and organizations may be issued a special license by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement authorizing employment at a wage less than the legal minimum wage but only until January 1, 2025.
California employers may not pay you under $15.50 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.
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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 Student Minimum Wage - $13.18 - Full-time high school or college students who work part-time may be paid 85% of the California minimum wage (as little as $13.18 per hour) for up to 20 hours of work per week at certain employers (such as work-study programs at universities).
- 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 $15.50 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 $15.50 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|
|Daily City||All employees||$16.07||+$0.57|
|East Palo Alto||All employees||$16.50||+$1.00|
|El Cerrito||All employees||$17.35||+$1.85|
|Foster City||All employees||$16.50||+$1.00|
|Half Moon Bay||All employees||$16.45||+$0.95|
|Hayward||large employers- 26 or more employees||$16.34||+$0.84|
|small employers- 25 or fewer employees||$15.50||Same|
|Los Altos||All employees||$15.65||+$0.15|
|Los Angeles -unincorporated county||All employees||$15.96||+$0.46|
|Malibu||25 or fewer employees||$15.96||+$0.46|
|26 or more employees||$15.00||-$0.50|
|Menlo Park||All employees||$16.20||+$0.70|
|Mountain View||All employees||$18.15||+$2.65|
|100 + employees||$16.32||+$0.82|
|Hotel Workers with benefits||$17.37||+$1.87|
|Hotel Workers without benefits||$23.15||+$7.65|
|Palo Alto||All employees||$17.25||+$1.75|
|Redwood City||All employees||$17.00||+$1.50|
|San Carlos||All employees||$16.32||+$0.82|
|San Diego||All employees||$16.30||+$0.80|
|San Jose||All employees||$17.00||+$1.50|
|San Leandro||All employees||$15.00||-$0.50|
|San Mateo||All employees||$16.75||+$1.25|
|Santa Clara||All employees||$17.20||+$1.70|
|Santa Monica||All employees||$15.96||+$0.46|
|Santa Rosa||All employees||$17.06||+$1.56|
|south San Francisco||$16.70||+$1.20|
|West Hollywood||49 or fewer employees||$17.00||+$1.50|
|50 or more employees||$17.50||+$2.00|
Frequently Asked Questions - California Minimum Wage & Labor Law
- What is the California minimum wage?
The current California minimum wage of $15.50 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 $124.00 per day, $620.00 per week, and $32,240.00 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!
If you have read the FAQ and still cannot find the information you need, please contact us with your question.
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
Labor Law Footnotes, Sources & Citations:
- The weekly earnings estimate of $620.00 is based on a standard 40-hour workweek
- The yearly earnings estimate of $32,240.00 is based on 52 standard 40-hour work weeks. Since most hourly employees don't work full time and/or take time off, actual yearly earnings will likely be lower.