California Minimum Wage Calculator (2024)

The minimum wage calculator below retrieves the correct minimum wage by city where you performed work. Just enter the city in which you performed work in the blue input box below. The calculator will determine which state or local minimum wages apply to you. Results will include minimum wages for both small and large employers - just select the correct tab depending on the size of your employer. Calculations can take up to 1 second, so please be patient after pressing the search button.

California Minimum Wage Laws (2024)

 

Introduction

While California has a statewide minimum wage, minimum wage laws can still vary depending on the size of the employer and the specific locality. Here's an in-depth look at these laws:

State Minimum Wage

California's state minimum wage has been progressively increasing. As of 1/1/24, the state minimum wage is $16.00 per hour for all employers, regardless of size. This increase was part of a series of incremental raises established by Labor Code Section 1182.12, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016. The calculator reflects all of these increases.

Local Minimum Wage Laws

Many cities and counties in California have enacted their own local minimum wage laws, often higher than the state minimum. Employers in these jurisdictions must comply with the local wage laws, which may be updated annually and can be significantly higher than the state minimum. The calculator above takes all of these local minimum wages into consideration.

  • Alameda
  • Belmont
  • Berkeley
  • Burlingame
  • Cupertino
  • Daly City
  • El Cerrito
  • Emeryville
  • Foster City
  • Fremont
  • Gilroy
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Hayward
  • Los Altos
  • Los Angeles (City)
  • Los Angeles (County - Unincorporated Areas)
  • Malibu
  • Menlo Park
  • Milpitas
  • Mountain View
  • Novato
  • Oakland
  • Palo Alto
  • Pasadena
  • Petaluma
  • Redwood City
  • Richmond
  • San Carlos
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • San Leandro
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Monica
  • Santa Rosa
  • Sonoma (City)
  • Sonoma (County - Unincorporated Areas)
  • South San Francisco
  • Sunnyvale
  • West Hollywood

Employer Size Consideration

Initially, the increase to the state minimum wage was staggered based on employer size, with larger employers (26 or more employees) experiencing wage increases a year earlier than smaller employers (25 or fewer employees). However, beginning 2023, the state minimum wage started becoming uniform across employer sizes.

Annual Adjustments

The state minimum wage is subject to annual adjustments based on inflation, which means it could increase each year.

Impact on Other Wage Laws

Increases in the minimum wage also affect other wage-related laws, such as overtime pay calculations and minimum salary thresholds for exempt employees. More specifically, many exempt employees must be paid a salary that is at least 2x the state minimum wage. That salary threshold will go up each time minimum wage goes up.

Exceptions and Exemptions

There are some exceptions to the minimum wage laws, such as certain types of workers who are exempt from these provisions, including outside salespersons and individuals who are the parent, spouse, or child of the employer.

In addition, some categories of workers may be subject to different minimum wage standards. For example, there are separate minimum wage rates for learners, who are employees during their first 160 hours of employment in occupations in which they have no previous similar or related experience. (IWC Wage Orders section 4 Learners).

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Employers who fail to pay the minimum wage are subject to civil penalties.

Under Labor Code Section 1197.1, penalties for not paying the minimum wage can range from $100 to $250 per underpaid employee for each pay period in which the employee was underpaid as follows:

  • For an initial violation that is committed intentionally, the penalty is $100 for each underpaid employee for each pay period during which the employee is underpaid.
  • For each subsequent violation for the same specific offense, the penalty increases to $250 for each underpaid employee for each pay period.
  • Each pay period during which an employee is paid less than the minimum wage is considered a separate violation, and an additional penalty can be imposed for each violation.
  • These penalties can be imposed for violations other than the initial violation, regardless of whether the violation was intentional or not.

In addition to unpaid wages, employees paid less than the minimum wage are entitled to "liquidated damages" under Labor Code Section 1194.2. Liquidated damages equal the amount of unpaid minimum wages (plus interest).

Enforcement and Claims

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the "Labor Board" or "Labor Commissioner's Office", is responsible for enforcing minimum wage laws in California. Employees who believe they have been paid less than the minimum wage should talk with a labor lawyer.

References

  • UC Berkeley Labor Law Center
  • Labor Code Section 1182.12: Details on the scheduled increases in the state minimum wage.
  • Labor Code Section 1197.1: Penalties for non-compliance with minimum wage laws.
  • Labor Code Section 1194.2: Liquidated damages for minimum wage violations.

Leave a Comment