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What are California Minimum Wage Laws?

If your employer has failed to pay you the state minimum wage for your hours worked, you may be entitled to compensation. Best of all, you can recover the minimum wage rates you are owed in a wage and hour lawsuit with the help of a California employment lawyer who specializes in state law and minimum wage laws.

If the wages owed violation affects numerous other employees in your workplace besides just you, a wage and hour class action lawsuit may also be appropriate.

A class action lawsuit is when an employment lawyer represents a group of employees, otherwise known as a class, to protect their California minimum wage interests under the California law labor code. A minimum wage law lawyer, like the ones at Lawyers for Justice, PC, will fight to get clients paid for each hour worked and recoup their owed wages.

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Is minimum wage $15 in California?

In January 2021, the statewide California minimum wage became $15.00 per hour for companies who employ 26 or more employees, and $14.00 per hour for employees who work at companies with 25 or fewer employees. However, there are many cities and counties in California, particularly Los Angeles County, that have a higher minimum wage.

For example, in the City of Los Angeles as of January 1st, 2021, the minimum wage was $15.00 per hour (or $14.25 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees). The minimum wage is set to increase on a yearly basis.

Statewide minimum wage increases tied to inflation

Since 2017, the statewide minimum wage has increased in every industry according to the legislation imposed by former governor of California, Jerry Brown, and his administration. However, due to the inflation impacting Californians in recent months, many are calling for California’s minimum wage laws to increase in order to afford the higher cost of living. Many residents are calling for higher minimum wage pay per hour – both for smaller employers and larger corporations.

All California employers will begin paying a minimum wage of at least $15.50 in January 2023

California is set to award higher minimum wages beginning in January 2023 if inflation continues. In fact, over 30 counties in and around California have their own legislation requiring the current minimum wage to rise. Since July 1st, it has been reported that an estimate of six city employees are paying an increase in their annual wages.

Companies who employ California workers must always pay local minimum wages in accordance with local law if it exceeds the national minimum wage. Employers must also cut checks promptly at the conclusion of each pay period.

How does minimum wage affect exempt employees?

Different types of employees may not be eligible to benefit from higher minimum wage increases. Exempt employees are usually paid a salary and therefore, are not affected by California’s state minimum wage laws.

California employers can choose whether to hire their employees on a salary basis or at least a state minimum wage rate. Exempt employees are not eligible to participate in California minimum wage changes, especially if they earn an annual salary that exceeds minimum hourly wage an employer is expected to pay.

Non-exempt employees who are paid per hour, however, must receive the local minimum wage amount for full time employment.

Are you being paid California’s minimum wage?

If you are not being paid minimum wage for your work, call Lawyers for Justice, PC today at 818-647-9323 or visit us online at