California's Minimum Wage Went Up - Did Yours - Glendale Employment Lawyer

California’s Minimum Wage Went Up – Did Yours?

California’s minimum wage went up on January 1, 2018. It’s now $10.50 per hour, and according to lawmakers, that figure is climbing its way to $15 per hour by 2022 – this is the first of several pay increases that the 2016 minimum wage law put into effect.

The law affects everyone, but it’s staggered based on business type.

Small companies (those that have 25 or fewer employees) must now pay $10.50 an hour. Larger companies – those that raised their minimum pay threshold to $10.50 per hour in January 2017, are now required to pay $11 per hour.

Within the next 5 years, employees at large companies will be making a minimum wage of $15 per hour, with smaller companies a year behind.

California’s Minimum Wage Increase Schedule

Each increase is set to take place on January 1 of the years listed below.

Year 25 Employees or Fewer 26 or More Employees
2017 $10/hour $10.50/hour
2018 $10.50/hour $11/hour
2019 $11/hour $12/hour
2020 $12/hour $13/hour
2021 $13/hour $14/hour
2022 $14/hour $15/hour
2023 $15/hour


This is just a California law, though – many localities have higher minimum wages. Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Pasadena have a $12 per hour minmum wage for large companies (it’s $10.50 for smaller companies), and Palo Alto and Mountain View, the minimum wage is $13.50. These cities, as well as others, have their own increase schedules that put them on-track to reach $15 per hour before 2022.

Most employers in the state are subject to federal and state minimum wage laws, which means that they cannot offer less than these amounts to minimum wage employees.

When there’s a conflict between federal, state, and local wage laws, the employer has to follow the one that’s most beneficial to employees. That means an employer in Palo Alto can’t say that California’s minimum wage is $10.50 and pay an employee $10.50 – it must pay the employee $13.50, because the law that’s most beneficial to employees is Palo Alto’s own city law.

Can Employees Agree to Work for Less?

Employees are not allowed to waive their right to the minimum wage. Every worker is entitled to at least $10.50 per hour in the state of California, except those that fall into very specific categories (like people who are the parent, spouse or child of the employer, outside salespeople, or apprentices).

What About Restaurant Servers and Other Tipped Employees?

In California, your employer can’t use the tips you earn toward your minimum wage. (In some states, that’s how employers get around paying a fair wage.)

What if Your Employer Doesn’t Pay You Minimum Wage?

Because California law says that you’re entitled to at least minimum wage, you could have legal recourse if your employer doesn’t pay it. For many people, it makes sense to talk to a Glendale employment attorney who has experience getting workers the compensation they deserve, which typically includes back pay.

Your employer isn’t allowed to retaliate against you because you’ve asked to be paid a fair wage, either. If that happens, you may be entitled to file a retaliation complaint with the State of California.

Do You Need to Talk to an Employment Lawyer in Glendale About Minimum Wage?

If you believe your employer hasn’t paid you what you’re entitled to receive, all our Glendale employment lawyers right away at 818-659-8331 or 800-774-4163 for a free consultation. We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.


    Contact Us

    [anr_nocaptcha g-recaptcha-response]