Over the years, California’s minimum wage has steadily increased as part of the state’s plan for a $15 minimum wage by 2023. However, many municipalities within California have established their own laws regarding minimum wage. To help you keep track of the minimum wage in your municipality, we put together a high-level overview of all the minimum wage changes happening in California.

What is Minimum Wage?

Minimum wage is the lowest wage per hour that a worker or employee can be paid as mandated by federal law. The minimum wage can vary depending on each state and local municipality, affecting both exempt and nonexempt employees.

Today, we will be discussing the minimum wage in the state of California. Last year, California’s minimum wage increased to $14/hour for employers with 26 or more employees (in 2020, it was $13/hour) and $13/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. Effective January 1, 2022, the state of California is increasing its minimum wage to $15/hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $14/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. This means that employees will be paid $1 more than the previous year for every hour they work.

California Municipalities Minimum Wage

As mentioned earlier, many cities within California have their own minimum wage laws. Here are some California municipalities with separate minimum wage laws that are going into effect in 2022:

  • Burlingame: $15.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Cupertino: $16.40 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Daly City: $15.53 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • East Palo Alto: $15.60 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • El Cerrito: $16.32 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Half Moon Bay: $15.56 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Hayward: $15.56 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Los Altos: $16.40 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Los Angeles: $15.00 an hour on July 1, 2022
  • Menlo Park: $15.75 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Mountain View: $17.10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Novato: $15.00 an hour for small employers, $15.53 an hour for large employers, and $15.77 for employers with 100 or more employees on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Oakland: $15.06 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Palo Alto: $16.45 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Pasadena: $15.00 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Petaluma: $15.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Redwood City: $16.20 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Richmond: $15.54 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • San Carlos: $15.77 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • San Diego: $15.00 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • San Jose: $16.20 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • San Mateo: $16.20 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Santa Clara: $16.40 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Santa Rosa: $15.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Sonoma: $15.00 an hour for small employers and $16.00 an hour for large employers on Jan. 1, 2021
  • South San Francisco: $15.55 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Sunnyvale: $17.10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • West Hollywood: $15.00 an hour for small employers and $15.50 an hour for large employers on Jan. 1, 2022

Keep in mind that the minimum wage for caregivers and in-home employees tends to differ slightly from normal minimum wage laws due to staffing, availability, and the number of hours worked. 

California Sick Leave Law

Due to the pandemic, the California legislation enforced SB 95, which required employers to provide employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. However, this bill ended on September 30, 2021 in light of the “reopening” and increase in vaccinations. As we enter a new year, California’s sick leave law returns to normal, covering full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers, with 24 hours lump sum and an accrual of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. The sick leave law also has an accrual cap of 48 hours per year and a use cap of 24 hours per year.

Similar to the minimum wage laws, some California municipalities have their respective sick leave laws:

  1. Berkeley
  • Accrual: 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked 
  • Accrual cap: 48 hours or 72 hours per year (depending on employer size)
  • Use cap: 48 hours per year for small employers only
  1. Emeryville
  • Lump Sum: 48 hours or 72 hours (depending on employer size)
  • Accrual: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Accrual cap: 48 hours or 72 hours per year (depending on employer size)
  • Use cap: not permitted
  1. Oakland
  • Accrual: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Accrual cap: 40 hours or 72 hours per year (depending on employer size)
  • Use cap: not permitted
  1. San Francisco
  • Accrual: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (can do lump sum, but the accrual method will kick in after lump sum has been earned)
  • Accrual cap: 40 hours or 72 hours per year (depending on employer size)
  • Use cap: not permitted
  1. Los Angeles
  • Lump Sum: 48 hours
  • Accrual: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Accrual cap: 72 hours per year
  • Use cap: 48 hours per year
  1. San Diego
  • Lump Sum: 40 hours
  • Accrual: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Accrual cap: 80 hours per year
  • Use cap: 40 hours per year
  1. Santa Monica
  • Lump Sum: 40 hours or 72 hours (depending on employer size)
  • Accrual: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Accrual cap: 40 hours or 72 hours per year (depending on employer size)
  • Use cap: not permitted

Key Takeaways

As we enter a new year, it is essential for employers to make sure they are paying their employees the correct minimum wage as provided by their state or local municipality. Employers who are not compliant with the new minimum wage and workplace laws can be subject to fines, wage claims, and penalties. If you are having trouble navigating the legal requirements for minimum wage, sick leave laws, or any other employment matter, please contact Hackler Flynn & Associates.

DISCLAIMER: Content within this post should not be considered legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Communications made through this post do not create an attorney-client relationship. Hackler Flynn & Associates is not responsible for any content that you may access from third-party resources that may be accessed through or linked to this post. Hackler Flynn & Associates is only licensed to practice in California.

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