MINIMUM WAGE LAW IN CALIFORNIA
With the new year comes new laws and the one that every employer needs to know is the minimum wage increase in California. The minimum wage is the minimum hourly rate that nearly all California employees must be paid for their work by law. In California, the applicable minimum wage depends on the size of the employer.
STATE MINIMUM WAGE
California law establishes annual increases in the minimum wage until 2023. The increases are scheduled to take effect on January 1st each year. On January 1, 2021, California’s minimum wage became $13.00 per hour for employees that work for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and $14.00 per hour for larger employers.
LOCAL MINIMUM WAGES
The California Constitution allows local governments to set a minimum wage, applicable within the government’s jurisdiction, that is higher than the state minimum wage. Several cities and counties have enacted ordinances that set a higher minimum wage for some or all employees who work within the boundaries of the local government. Several of California’s larges cities’ current minimum wage rates range from $14.00 per hour to $16.00 per hour.
MINIMUM WAGE CANNOT BE WAIVED
A California employer must pay the California minimum wage to employees even if an employee agrees to work for less. An employment agreement that attempts to pay an employee at a lower than the minimum wage is unlawful and will not be enforced.
MINIMUM WAGE AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
California’s minimum wage law applies only to employers and thus only protects employees. It does NOT protect independent contractors. Importantly, however, the fact that an employer labels a worker as being an independent contractor does not necessarily mean that the worker is not an employee. Whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee will depend on several factors, including the degree of control that the employer exercises over the work performance.
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Disclaimer: This information is made available by Bagla Law Firm, APC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.