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Hey California, Did You Know Your City May Require You to Pay a Higher Minimum Wage?

The State of California’s minimum wage, as of January 1, 2022, is $15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $14.00/hour for employers with 25 or less employees. However, if your city or locality provides for a higher minimum wage rate, the higher rate will apply. Depending on what the particular local regulations provide, even having an employee work a couple of hours could potentially trigger the higher minimum wage rate.

For example, in the City of Los Angeles, Section 187.02(d) of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (i.e., the Minimum Wage Ordinance), provides that as of July 1, 2022, minimum wage will increase to $16.04/hour (currently set at $15.00/hour). Annually thereafter, the minimum wage for covered employees will increase based on the Consumer Price Index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who are covered by Los Angeles’ Minimum Wage Ordinance are those who, in any workweek, “perform at least two hours of work within the geographic boundaries of the City.” This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees, and the employer need not be based within the City of Los Angeles.

There are similar Minimum Wage Ordinances in other cities and localities across California, such as Los Angeles County, Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Fremont, Malibu, Milpitas, Novato, Pasadena, San Francisco, San Leandro, Santa Monica, and Santa Rosa. Employers should be mindful of wage increases in effect mid-year. Eligibility rules in the various cities and localities may vary.

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