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Minimum Wage in California in 2023

Last Updated on:

06 January 2023
Minimum Wage in California

Employees may not legally sell their labor for less than the minimum wage, the lowest compensation a business can pay their staff. By the end of the 20th century, most countries had enacted minimum wage laws.

One can guess that the minimum wage is different in every country. But the interesting fact is that it can even vary from state to state in the same country.

This article will go over the California minimum wage and other related topics. So, whether you are considering moving to California and looking for the lowest wage for a job or are simply wondering about the minimum wage employers in California are obliged to pay, make sure you stick around until the end.

What is the Minimum Wage in California?

In 2022, the state of California mandated that businesses with 26 or more employees offer their staff a minimum wage of $15.00 hourly. The Federal minimum wage is $14 per hour, and any company with less than 25 employees is obligated to pay at least that much to their workers.

However, in 2023, all employers in California, regardless of their business size, must pay a minimum wage of $15.50 per hour to their employees.

Weekly Minimum Wage

Currently, in 2023 the weekly minimum wage for California is 620$, considering that a person works 40 hours per week and a 52-week year.

How is California Minimum Wage Different from the Federal Minimum Wage?

Currently, in 2023 the state of California has a minimum wage rate of $15.50 per hour. In comparison to the existing $7.25 per hour Federal minimum wage which hasn't changed since 2009, this is a significant increase. The vast majority of California workers are entitled to at least the state-mandated minimum wage, with several notable exceptions, including those who receive tips, certain student workers, etc.

The most populous state in the United States, California, frequently violates federal labor regulations in order to enact its own set of rules that are more focused on the welfare of workers. It should come as no surprise to anyone that one of the progressive states in the world has legislation in place to protect the rights and advantages of those employed there. 

Even though other states are more evolved, California's history and emphasis on rights for workers and protection distinguish it from other states and emphasize its unique qualities.

Local Minimum Wages in California

City 

Business Type

Current Minimum Wage (in USD)

Increase in 2023

Alameda, CA 

All Sizes

15

-

Belmont, CA

All Sizes

15.9

-

Berkeley, CA 

All Sizes

16.07

-

Burlingame, CA 

All Sizes

15.6

-

Cupertino, CA 

All Sizes

15.65

-

Daly City, CA 

All Sizes

15

-

East Palo Alto, CA

All Sizes

15.6

-

El Cerrito, CA

All Sizes

15.61

-

Emeryville, CA

All Sizes

16.84

-

Foster City, CA 

All sizes

15.75

-

Freemont, CA

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

16.5

Freemont, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

13.5

-

Half Moon Bay, CA

All Sizes

15

-

Hayward, CA 

Large businesses (26 or more employees

15

-

Hayward, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14

 

Los Altos, CA 

All Sizes

15.65

-

Los Angeles, CA 


Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

-

Los Angeles, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14.25

-

Los Angeles County (unincorporated), CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

13.5

-

Los Angeles County (unincorporated), CA


Large businesses (26 or more employees)

14.25

-

Malibu, CA (2016)

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

-

Malibu, CA (2016)

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14.25

-

Menlo Park, CA 

All Sizes

15.25

-

Milpitas, CA 

All Sizes

15.4

-

Mountain View, CA 

All Sizes

16.3

-

Novato, CA

Very Large businesses (100 or more employees)

15.24

-

Novato, CA

Large businesses (26 to 99 employees)

15

-

Novato, CA 


Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14

-

Oakland, CA

All Sizes

15.06

-

Palo Alto, CA 

All Sizes

15.65

-

Pasadena, CA

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

-

Pasadena, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14.25

-

Petaluma, CA

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15.85

-

Petaluma, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

15

-

Redwood City, CA

All Sizes

15.38

-

Richmond, CA (with Benefits)

All Sizes

13.5

-

Richmond, CA (without Benefits)

All Sizes

15

-

San Carlos, CA

All Sizes

15.77

-

San Diego, CA 

All Sizes

15

-

San Francisco, CA 

All Sizes

16.07

-

San Jose, CA

All Sizes

16.2

-

San Leandro, CA 

All Sizes

15

-

San Mateo, CA 

All Sizes

15.62

-

San Mateo, CA

Nonprofits

13.5

-

Santa Clara, CA 

All Sizes

16.4

-

Santa Monica, CA

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

-

Santa Monica, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14.25

-

Santa Rosa, CA

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

-

Santa Rosa, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14

-

Sonoma, CA 

Large businesses (26 or more employees)

15

17

Sonoma, CA

Small businesses (25 or fewer employees)

14

16

South San Francisco, CA 

All Sizes

15

-

Sunnyvale, CA

All Sizes

15

-

West Hollywood, CA

large businesses (50 or more employees)

15.5

17.64+CPI

West Hollywood, CA

small businesses (49 or fewer employees)

15

17.64+CPI

History of California Labor Laws

Californian Labor Laws are a product of decades and centuries of changes and adaptations. Here I am giving you an idea of what happened:

Mid-1800's

California has become the 31st state three years after its first statute governs the workplace, imposing a 10-hour day but with no enforcement measures. Carpenters and other construction workers were instrumental in enacting some early legislation regulating hours worked.

Late 1800's

Employees from a wide variety of sectors are speaking out against the practice of working more than 12 hours per day. They are attempting to institute a standard ten-hour workday. However, a six-day workweek was necessary for it to be successful in most unionized organizations. It's a case of no law being made.

After Illinois, California passed legislation requiring an eight-hour workday for all employees. Because of technological advancements like the transcontinental railroad, laws were null and void after 1869.

Many headed West during recessions because that's where the jobs were.

The Early to Mid-1900s

California passed a law requiring that women be given an eight-hour workweek in response to pressure from organized labor and the Women's Suffrage movement.

Following widespread strikes across the country in 1935, Congress created the National Labor Relations Act to regulate labor relations. The Private Sector Fair Resolution and Collective Bargaining Act set forth principles for settling labor disputes in the private sector and for collective bargaining generally. Independent labor federation Congress of Industrial Organizations supports "30 for 40," where workers put in 30 hours for 40 hours of payment.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act mandates a weekly work schedule of 40 hours to be worked over five days. It also sets a minimum wage, limits the employment of minors, and requires overtime pay for shifts longer than 40 hours. State governments are given the authority to determine whether or not workers are entitled to overtime pay after eight hours of labor per day. California is one of a handful of states that have adopted such a policy.

Labor Code section 1197.5 

"No employer shall pay any individual in the employer’s employ at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions . . . ."

Things refined as society progressed further, and this led to the 2010s

2010's

Notable additions include

(1) 1197.5 (a) now provides:

"(a)  An employer shall not pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions, except where the employer demonstrates:

(1) The wage differential is based upon one or more of the following factors:

(A) A seniority system.

(B) A merit system.

(C) A system that measures earnings by quantity or production quality.

(D) A bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience. This factor shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that the factor is not based on or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, is job-related to the position in question, and is consistent with a business necessity. For purposes of this subparagraph, "business necessity" means an overriding legitimate business purpose such that the factor relied upon effectively fulfills the business purpose it is supposed to serve. This defense shall not apply if the employee demonstrates that an alternative business practice would serve the same business purpose without producing the wage differential.

(2) Each factor relied upon is applied reasonably.

(3) The one or more factors relied upon account for the entire wage differential."

(2) Labor Code section 1197.5(b):

"An employer shall not pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of another race or ethnicity for substantially similar work when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions . . ."

(3) Addition of AB 168 to section 432.3 of the Labor Code:

"(a) An employer shall not rely on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer an applicant.

(b) An employer shall not, orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, seek salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment.

(c) An employer, upon reasonable request, shall provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment."

(4) FLSA of 1938 (29 U.S.C. et seq.) added a sub-section (d)

"(d) (1) No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex: Provided, That an employer who is paying a wage rate differential in violation of this subsection shall not, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection, reduce the wage rate of any employee."

Who is Exempt From Receiving Minimum Wage?

Individuals who belong to the following criteria are exempt from receiving minimum wage:

  • A salesperson who is from another state.
  • Anyone employed under a self-employed employer.
  • Individuals under training or learning are still eligible to receive up to 85% of the minimum wage.
  • N.G.O.s and institutes that hire disabled workers.

FAQ


Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.


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