California minimum wage, in 2020, is going up for most people – and there’s a good chance you’re one of them. Here’s what you need to know.
California Minimum Wage in 2020
The new minimum wage – $13 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $12 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees – takes effect on January 1, 2020. Through incremental increases over the past four years, with more on the way, minimum wage will eventually reach $15 per hour for all employers. Next year, the least you can expect to be paid in California is $12 per hour.
Municipalities in California with Higher Minimum Wages
There are several municipalities throughout California that exceed state requirements for minimum wage. The table below includes each municipality’s new minimum wage, which will go into effect January 1, 2020.
|Alameda: $15||Belmont: $15||Berkeley: $15.59||Cupertino: $15.35|
|Daly City: $13.75||El Cerrito: $15.37||Emeryville: $16.42||Fremont: $13.50|
|Los Altos: $15.40||Los Angeles: $14.25*||LA County: $14.25*||Malibu: $14.25*|
|Menlo Park: $15||Mountain View: $16.05||Oakland: $14.14||Palo Alto: $15.40|
|Pasadena: $14.25*||Redwood City: $15.38||Richmond: $15||San Diego: $13|
|San Leandro: $15||San Mateo: $15.38||Santa Clara: $15.40||Santa Monica: $15|
|Santa Rosa: $14*||Sonoma: $12.50**||S. San Francisco: $15||Sunnyvale: $16.05|
*These wages are for small employers. Each location marked this way will raise minimum wage to $15 for large employers.
**These wages are for small employers. Each location marked this way will raise minimum wage to $13.50 for large employers.
California Minimum Wage After 2020
Across the state of California, minimum wage in 2020 is set to increase – and it will continue to increase until January 1, 2023 so that the whole state has a $15 per hour minimum wage. Use this table to see minimum wage increases in the future.
|Date||Minimum Wage for Employers With 25 or Fewer Employees||Minimum Wage for Employers With 26 or More Employees|
|January 1, 2020||$12/hour||$13/hour|
|January 1, 2021||$13/hour||$14/hour|
|January 1, 2022||$14/hour||$15/hour|
|January 1, 2023||$15/hour|
Can You Work for Less Than Minimum Wage?
You can’t agree to work for less than minimum wage, even if you want to. In fact, California Civil Code §1668 and California Civil Code §3513 expressly forbid it.
There are a few situations in which it’s okay to work for less than minimum wage, such as when you’re a “learner” or fall into some other categories – and if you’re not sure, it’s probably a good idea to call an attorney for legal advice.
What if Your Employer Pays Less Than Minimum Wage?
All employers are required to pay at least California’s minimum wage – and if they’re located in a municipality that has enacted a higher minimum wage regulation than the rest of the state, they must pay that municipality’s minimum wage. For example, if you have a job in Mountain View, your employer must pay you at least $16.05 per hour starting on January 1, 2020 (see the table above for municipalities with higher minimum wage requirements).
If your employer pays you less than minimum wage, you have legal recourse. Labor Code §1194 says, “Notwithstanding any agreement to work for a lesser wage, any employee receiving less than the legal minimum wage … applicable to the employee is entitled to recover in a civil action the unpaid balance of the full amount of this minimum wage …, including interest thereon, reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs of suit.”
Unfortunately, if your employer is paying you less than minimum wage, there’s a good chance that it’s paying other workers less than minimum wage, too. In cases like those, it’s often a good idea to talk to an attorney about your situation and find out whether you’re entitled to any legal remedies.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About California Minimum Wage in 2020?
The minimum wage is supposed to increase for everyone in 2020, so watch your paycheck. If your employer isn’t paying you what you deserve, you may be able to get the money it owes you. Call us at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below to tell us about your situation. We’ll ask you some questions and help you start moving forward.