California Minimum Wage Increases to $10.00 Effective January 1, 2016

Minimum Wage in California:

$10.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2016

$9.00 per hour beginning July 1, 2014

Download and print the required posting:
Minimum Wage Order (MW-2014)

Although there are some exceptions, almost all employees in California must be paid the minimum wage as required by state law. There is no distinction made between adults and minors when it comes to payment of the minimum wage. An employer may not use an employee’s tips as a credit toward its obligation to pay the minimum wage.

The minimum wage is an obligation of the employer and cannot be waived by any agreement, including collective bargaining agreements. Any remedial legislation written for the protection of employees may not be violated by agreement between the employer and employee. Civil Code Sections 1668 and 3513.

There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as outside salespersons, individuals who are the parent, spouse, or child of the employer, and apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

Learners:

There is an exception for learners, regardless of age, who may be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage rounded to the nearest nickel during their first 160 hours of employment in occupations in which they have no previous similar or related experience. (An employee may be considered a learner during their first 160 hours of employment working in an occupation in which they have no previous similar or related experience. A learner may be of any age.)

Sheltered Workshops and Special Minimum Wage Workers:

There are also exceptions for employees who are mentally or physically disabled, or both, and for nonprofit organizations such as sheltered workshops or rehabilitation facilities that employ disabled workers. Such individuals and organizations may be issued a special license by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement authorizing employment at a wage less than the legal minimum wage. Labor Code Sections 1191 and 1191.5.

Download applications for Sheltered Workshops and Special Minimum Wage Workers

Sheepherders:

For sheepherders, effective July 1, 2014, the minimum monthly salary for sheepherders will be $1600.34. Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum monthly salary for sheepherders will be $1777.98. Wages paid to sheepherders may not be offset by meals or lodging provided by the employer. Instead, there are provisions in IWC Order 14-2007, Sections 10(F), (G) and (H) that apply to sheepherders with respect to monthly meal and lodging benefits required to be provided by the employer.

Federal and State Minimum Wage Law:

Most employers in California are subject to both the federal and state minimum wage laws. The effect of this dual coverage is that when there are conflicting requirements in the laws, the employer must follow the stricter standard; that is, the one that is the most beneficial to the employee. Thus, since California’s current law requires a higher minimum wage rate than does the federal law, all employers in California who are subject to both laws must pay the state minimum wage rate unless their employees are exempt under California law.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), was established to adjudicate wage claims, investigate discrimination and public works complaints, and enforce Labor Code statutes and Industrial Welfare Commission orders. Visit their website.

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