CALIFORNIA MINIMUM WAGE: What is the current California minimum wage?


One thing about the California minimum wage rates is that they’re high. With one city surpassing a $17 standard minimum wage.

Minimum wage regulations were initially implemented in Australia and New Zealand to help low-paid workers earn more money.

A national minimum wage is now mandated in most modern developed economies, as well as many developing economies.

In the United States, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

This means that unless a worker falls into a category specifically exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is illegal for them to sell their labor for less than $7.25 per hour (FLSA).

The federal minimum wage is reviewed regularly to account for increases in inflation and the cost of living.

It’s critical to stay on top of any salary changes to ensure you’re getting paid exactly what you’re entitled to.

This article will teach you all you need to know about the California minimum wage and what to do if you are not paid the required minimum wage by your employer.

Minimum Wage Definition

Minimum wages are defined as the bare minimum of remuneration that an employer is compelled to pay wage earners for labor completed during a certain period, which cannot be reduced by collective bargaining or individual contracts.

This definition alludes to the fact that minimum wages are legally enforceable, regardless of how they are set. Minimum wages are determined by statute, a competent authority’s decision, a wage board, a wage council, or industrial or labor courts or tribunals. Minimum wages can also be established by making terms of collective bargaining agreements enforceable by law.

The goal of minimum wages is to safeguard workers from receiving inequitably low compensation. They contribute to ensuring that everyone receives a fair and equal share of the benefits of progress, as well as a minimum living wage for those who are working and in need of such protection.

Minimum wages can also be part of a policy to combat poverty and eliminate inequality, particularly between men and women, by advocating the right to equal pay for equal work.

Also read: ANNUAL INCOME: Definition and Calculations of Gross, Net & Total Annual Income

What is the Minimum Wage in California?

The California minimum wage was raised to $14 per hour for firms with 26 or more employees and $13 per hour for employees with 25 or fewer employees on January 1, 2022. However, as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 3 on January 1, 2023, the California minimum wage increased to $15.50 per hour for all businesses to pay their employees.

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Does Federal Minimum Wage Override California Minimum Wage?

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is superseded by California’s minimum wage statute. You must be paid the higher state minimum wage if you work in California.

Furthermore, the minimum wage in California is planned to rise every year through 2023.

The federal and state minimum wage regulations apply to the majority of employers in California. Local governments (cities and counties) can also legislate minimum wage rates, and numerous localities have lately passed legislation setting a higher minimum pay for people working within their jurisdiction.

When there are contradictory requirements in the laws, the employer must apply the standard which is the most favorable to the employee.

As a result, because California’s current statute mandates a higher minimum wage than the federal one, all employers in the state who are subject to both laws must pay the state minimum wage rate unless their employees are exempt under California law. Employees must be paid the local pay if it is more than the state or federal minimum wage.

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Who is exempt from minimum wage in California?

Several exceptions to the state minimum wage standards are provided by California wage and hour legislation.

The minimum wage regulations in California do not apply to:

  • Student employees, camp counselors, and program counselors at organized camps are only required to be paid 85% of the minimum salary
  • AmeriCorps members are those who volunteer for national service organizations like AmeriCorps.
  • Employees with mental or physical disabilities who work for approved organizations and rehabilitation centers;
  • Outside salespeople.

LA County Minimum Wage

In California, many cities and counties have their own minimum wage that differs from the state’s minimum wage.

Los Angeles has its own minimum wage rules that differ from the rest of the county. However, the minimum wage in Los Angeles became $15 for all enterprises in Jan 2023.

Also read: ANNUAL INCOME: Definition and Calculations of Gross, Net & Total Annual Income

What is New York Minimum Wage?

The state of New York has set its minimum wage at $14.20 dollars an hour. This is higher than the federal minimum wage, which is currently set at $7.25 an hour.

How California Small Businesses can Prepare for Minimum Wage Increases

Here are ways to prepare for a minimum wage increase in California:

>. Audit your expenses

Examine your cash flow carefully and devise a hiring strategy that you can afford. If you’re starting a new business, you’ll need a free EIN to start hiring and stay compliant.

>. Make sure you hire and keep the right employees

It is very expensive to replace an employee. When you hire (and then keep) the appropriate people, you lower the total cost of recruitment and training. Look for applicants that have a proven track record, come highly recommended, and match the company culture.

Once they’ve been onboarded, make sure you create a relationship with them and provide opportunities for advancement; this will increase the likelihood that they’ll continue in their position.

>. Increase prices

This is a fantastic strategy to boost your cash flow. Customers are rarely pleased with price increases but remember that your competitors will be obliged to follow suit. Just keep an eye on the market and don’t boost prices too much.

>. Go digital

Consider automating certain components of the job (such as payroll) and learning how to perform payroll using payroll software yourself to save money on production.

What to do if you Earn Less than the California Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage is a legal requirement for most people who work. Casual laborers, people on zero-hour contracts, and agency workers all fall under this category.

A higher rate known as the National Living Wage is also available. If you’re eligible for the National Minimum Wage, you should be paid this.

You may be entitled to sue your employer if they fire you or change your job so they don’t have to pay you the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage. Examine your options for dealing with a problem at work.

If you believe your employer sacked you or changed your employment to avoid paying the minimum wage, you should seek legal help.

Find out whether you’re entitled to the California minimum wage

If you are one of the following, you are not entitled to the minimum wage:

  • Under the age of 16
  • Working as an au pair or nanny with a family and not having to pay for your housing or meals
  • In the military forces
  • A volunteer or a work placement
  • A detainee
  • certain interns and trainees (however, the eligibility rules are complicated so you should get advice)

California Minimum Wage Calculator

In California, you can use a payment calculator to figure out your pre-tax earnings from the hourly rate of employment.

This calculator can be used to compute overtime pay as well as total earnings for tipped personnel. Calculate here

California Overtime Wage Calculator:

Overtime hours in California are defined as any hours worked for more than 40 hours in a week or more than 15 hours in a single day.

Overtime hours must be compensated at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate, according to federal labor law.

To determine your total overtime compensation, enter any overtime hours you worked during

the salary period in question.

California Tipped Wage Calculator

Tipped employees in California, such as waiters, bartenders, and busboys, must additionally factor in their earned tips, as well as any tip credits claimed by their employer against their cash payments.

Unlike many other jurisdictions, California does not allow employers to deduct tips from tipped employees’ salaries, and tipped employees are required to be paid $11.00 per hour regardless of tips earned. As a result, the wage calculator will simply add your entire tip earnings to your normal cash earnings.

Which State in the U.S. has the Highest Minimum Wage?

The District of Columbia had the highest minimum wage in the United States as of the first of the year 2023, with a rate of 16.50 dollars per hour. The next state in line has a minimum wage of 15.74 dollars per hour in the United States, and that is Washington.

What are the Highest Paying Jobs in the U.S.?

Below are jobs that pay well in the united states and their annual amount

  • Orthopedic Surgeon, $306,220.
  • Dermatologist. $302,740.
  • Radiologist. $301,720.
  • Cardiologist. $353,970.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. $311,460.
  • Emergency Medicine Physician. $310,640.
  • Surgeon. $297,800.
  • Anesthesiologist. $331,190.

Which States in the U.S. has the Lowest Average Salary Payment?

The hourly minimum wage in Georgia and Wyoming is both lower than the national average of $7.25. The state minimum wage in Georgia and Wyoming is equal to $5.15 per hour. However, if the federal sum is higher than the state’s minimum wage requirement, the federal law takes precedence over the state statute.

Which State has the Highest Average Salary Payment?

The state of Massachusetts offers residents the highest salaries on average in the United States. In addition to having a high cost of living, the states of New York, Washington, and California are home to a disproportionately high number of Fortune 500 corporations.


An employer cannot average your hourly wages to determine if you are making the legal minimum wage in California since you must be paid the minimum wage for each hour worked. If you are paid a “premium” or “shift differential,” your employer must still pay you the minimum wage for any other hours worked (even the hours where you are not paid a premium). If you are paid in tips, you are also entitled to the minimum wage from your employer.

This means that if you are only a few minutes late, your employer cannot deduct 15 minutes from your wages.

FAQs about California Minimum Wage

What is the California minimum wage?

California’s current minimum wage of $13.00 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee can lawfully be paid for hourly work in the state. Certain workers may be eligible for special minimum wage rates, such as the “California waitress minimum pay” for tipped staff.

How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin California?

In California, a full-time minimum wage worker earning $104.00 per day, $520.00 per week, and $27,040.00 per year would earn $104.00 per day, $520.00 per week, and $27,040.00 per year. The poverty level for a family of two persons in the United States is $16,020.00 per year.

What is the California under 18 minimum wage?

For the first 90 days of employment, employers in California may pay 18-year-olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25. There may be other labour law exemptions for children in California.

What Happens If You’re Not Paid the Minimum Wage?

You are entitled to the unpaid wage amounts as well as a penalty of the same amount if your employer pays you less than the minimum wage. That is, you may be able to collect up to twice the amount of underpaid pay, plus legal fees incurred in pursuing your wages.

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