Honest Work, Fair Pay – Make Sure You Are Paying the Correct Minimum Wage

Everyone has (hopefully) heard that the minimum wage in California is on the rise. As of January 1, 2019, the minimum wage rate increased to $12.00 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more employees and $11.00 per hour for those with 25 or fewer employees. However, many counties and municipalities throughout California have lesser known, but equally important, minimum wages that must be paid to employees in those areas.

As of July 1, 2019, several counties and municipalities have enacted minimum wages in excess of California’s standards that must be paid to its employees. Some of the rates differ based on the employer’s industry, whether or not qualifying benefits are provided and number of employees. Sound confusing? It is. Luckily for you, we have gone through the effort of creating the below table that accurately lists all current minimum wages that differ from California’s minimum standards that went into effect on January 1, 2019.

JurisdictionMinimum Wage as of July 1, 2019
Alameda$13.50
Belmont$13.50
Berkeley$15.59
City of Los Angeles – 25 or fewer employees$13.25
City of Los Angeles – 26 or more employees$14.25
City of Los Angeles – hotel workers$16.63
County of Los Angeles Unincorporated – 25 or fewer employees$13.25
County of Los Angeles Unincorporated – 26 or more employees $14.25$14.25
Cupertino$15.00
El Cerrito$15.00
Emeryville – 55 or fewer employees $16.30$16.30
Emeryville – 56 or more employees$16.30
Long Beach$14.97
Los Altos$15.00
Malibu – 25 or fewer employees$13.25
Malibu – 26 or more employees$14.25
Milpitas$15.00
Mountain View$15.65
Oakland – hotel workers that do not receive qualifying benefits$20.00
Oakland – hotel workers that receive qualifying benefits$15.00
Palo Alto$15.00
Pasadena – 25 or fewer employees$13.25
Pasadena – 26 or more employees$14.25
Redwood City$13.50
Richmond – workers that do not receive qualifying benefits$15.00
Richmond – workers that do receive qualifying benefits$13.50
San Diego$12.00
San Francisco$15.59
San Francisco – government supported employees$13.79
San Francisco – Non-Profit Employers*$16.50
San Francisco – For-Profit Employers*$17.66
San Jose$15.00
San Leandro$14.00
San Mateo – For-Profit Employers$15.00
San Mateo – Non-Profit Employers$13.50
Santa Clara$15.00
Santa Monica – 25 or fewer employees$13.25
Santa Monica – 26 or more employees$14.25
Santo Monica – hotel workers exclusively$16.63
Sunnyvale$15.65

* SFO airport tenants, subtenants and their subcontractors, contractors and subcontractors that provide services to the city and county of San Francisco, and public entities within the city and county who have city contracts must follow San Francisco’s Minimum Compensation Ordinance (“MCO”). The MCO includes 12 paid days off per year (or cash equivalent) and 10 days off per year without pay.

In addition to making sure the correct minimum wage is paid to employees, employers in any of the above jurisdictions may be required to post certain labor and employment posters that are not required in other jurisdictions. For example, all employers in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County must post this workplace poster in an area visible to employees that notes the current minimum wage rates and the schedule on which it continues to increase through July 1, 2021. Other jurisdictions, including but not limited to, Redwood City and San Francisco, have their own labor posters that must be posted in addition to the California and federal employment posters required of all employers.

Lastly, on July 18, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a federal $15.00 per hour minimum wage which is a drastic increase from the current $7.25 that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by October 2025. While this bill is unlikely to pass the current Republican controlled Senate, it is more important than ever to keep up on the current minimum wages that apply to your employees. The penalties for failing to pay the proper minimum wage are simply too drastic to not be taken seriously.

If you are unsure whether or not you must pay a minimum wage in excess of California’s standards, contact Proper Defense Law Corporation today.

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