California’s July 1, 2020 Minimum Wage Increase

By Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq.

Sorry California employers, California’s rigid wage and hour laws aren’t taking a break just because there’s a global pandemic. Employers should be aware that on July 1st, the minimum wage for many California employees increased. Although the State minimum wage remains $12.00 per hour for small employers (25 or fewer employees) and $13.00 per hour for large employers (26 or more employees), as of July 1, 2020, several California localities increased their minimum wage requirements, as follows:

CountyWage Increase
Alameda$15.00/hour
Berkeley*$16.07/hour
Emeryville*$16.86/hour 1
Fremont$15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and

$13.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
Long Beach$15.47/hour for hotel workers only
Los Angeles (City)* $15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees;

$14.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees; and

$17.13/hour for hotel workers only
Los Angeles (County – Unincorporated Areas)Los Angeles County (unincorporated areas): $15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and

$14.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
Malibu$15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and

$14.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
Milpitas$15.40/hour
Novato$15.00/hour for employers with 100 or more employees;

$14.00/hour for employers with 26 to 99 employees; and

$13.00/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
Pasadena$15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and

$14.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
San Francisco* $16.07/hour
San Leandro$15.00/hour
Santa Monica$15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees;

$14.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees; and

hotel worker minimum wage same as City of Los Angeles
Santa Rosa$15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and

$14.00/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees

Due to the economic hardship imposed by the pandemic, the Hayward and San Carlos city councils delayed implementation of their recently adopted minimum wage ordinances. Initially scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2020, both localities’ minimum wage rates will now increase on January 1, 2021.

Employers must be aware of where employees are working. Many cities and counties provide resources to help employers determine this information. For example, in the City of Los Angeles, employers can look online at http://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org/ to determine where their offices are located.

Employer Takeaway:

As always, to ensure legal compliance, employers should review their employees’ wage rates for employees working in any local jurisdictions listed above and make any necessary adjustments. Employers should pay attention to where remote employees are located, as they could be subject to local minimum wage and other ordinances.

Employers should remember to update workplace posters to reflect the increased minimum wage and update any Notices to Employee pursuant to Labor Code section 2810.5 who are hired on or after July 1, 2020 to reflect the higher minimum wage requirements.

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Jaimee Wellerstein

Jaimee K. Wellerstein is a Partner at Bradley & Gmelich LLP, and the Head of the firm’s Employment Department. Jaimee concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, PAGA claims, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, misclassification, and other employment related lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas.

Jaimee 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.

Jaimee assists as a Legal Advisor to CALSAGA, and is a member of ASIS International. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, the highest peer rating available. jwellerstein@bglawyers.com

  1. * Local paid sick leave requirements apply for this locality.

    1 The Living Wage Rate ($16.69) is lower than the Emeryville Minimum Wage Rate ($16.84). The Living Wage Rate includes both wages and health benefits whereas the Minimum Wage Rate only includes wages.