California Employers: Don’t Get Burned This Summer!

By: Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq.

July Means Numerous Increases To Local Minimum Wage Ordinances!

The California state minimum wage will remain intact at $10.50 an hour for employers with 26 or more employees until 2018. However, there are many local minimum wage ordinances that will increase on July 1, 2017, so employers should beware!

  • City of Los Angeles: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • County of Los Angeles (unincorporated areas only): $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Emeryville: $15.20/hour for businesses with 56 or more employees; $14/hour for businesses with 55 or fewer employees.
  • Malibu: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Milpitas: $11/hour.
  • Pasadena: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • San Francisco: $14/hour.
  • San Jose: $12/hour.
  • San Leandro: $12/hour.
  • Santa Monica: $12/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

The Heat Is On – Does Your Heat Illness Prevention Plan Measure Up?

Under California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) regulations, employers must protect employees from known safety hazards. This includes protecting outdoor workers from extreme heat. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures are required to establish a heat illness prevention plan.

  • According to Cal/OSHA, at a minimum employers should do the following:
  • Provide water to employees that is fresh, pure, cool and free of charge.
  • Provide shade when the temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Employers are expected to monitor predicted weather temperatures in advance to know when the temperature will probably exceed 80 degrees at the worksite.
  • Provide employees with paid, preventative cool-down rest breaks in the shade for no less than five minutes at a time when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating. Access to shade must be permitted at all times.
  • Allow new or returning employees to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
  • Plan for emergencies.
  • Train employees on prevention and to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Monitor employees for signs of heat illness.

Your employment attorneys at Bradley & Gmelich LLP are happy to answer any questions you may have, and to help you avoid getting burned this summer!


Jaimee K. Wellerstein is an experienced litigator with a broad spectrum of experience upon which to draw. As the head of the firm’s employment team, she concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful discharge lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas. Ms. Wellerstein routinely represents employers in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings throughout the state, as well as at administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the United States Department of Labor, and other federal and state agencies.

As a civil litigator, Ms. Wellerstein has represented clients from Fortune 500 companies to governmental agencies to small businesses throughout each stage of litigation. In addition to her employment law experience, she has honed her expertise in cases involving general tort litigation, premises and products liability, security guard litigation, public entity work, and contract disputes.