If a business employs non-exempt employees, it must comply with the federal, state, and local minimum wage laws. California's state minimum wage since January 1, 2022 is $15.00 for employers with 26 or more employees and $14.00 for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
In addition to the state minimum wages, employers must comply with the local ordinances. Employers must check each locality where they do business or have their employees work from. This may be especially relevant for those who have employees working from various places.
For example, in Northern California, beginning July 1, 2022:
- employees that perform work in San Francisco (including part-time and temporary employees) must be paid $16.99 per hour (a $0.67 increase).
- similarly, in the City of Berkeley, $16.99 (a $0.67 increase).
- any employee who performs at least two hours of work a week within the City of Alameda must be paid $15.75 per hour (a $0.75 increase).
- any employee who performs work within the City of Fremont must be paid $16.00 per hour without regard to the size of the employer (a $0.75 - $1.00 increase).
- employers who are subject to the business license requirement of the City of Milpitas or who maintain a business facility in the city must pay each employee who performs at least two hours of work per week in Milpitas, a minimum wage of not less than $16.40 per hour (a $0.75 increase).
- all businesses in the City of Emeryville must pay $17.68 per hour.
There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as executive, administrative, and professional workers, outside salespersons, or computer programmers. If your business employs only exempt employees, the minimum wage requirements do not apply, but it is important to correctly classify each employee as exempt.