California Employers: Minimum Wage Increase July 1, 2022

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Lewitt Hackman

Given the current state of inflation, minimum wage increases in many California municipalities will be going into effect as of July 1, 2022.

Although a state-wide minimum wage of $15.00 for all employers (regardless of size) was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2023, the significant rate of inflation triggered an acceleration of the minimum wage increase. As a result, on May 12, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the California minimum wage for all businesses is projected to increase to $15.50 as of January 1, 2023. 

This will also impact the salary that is required to be paid to salaried exempt employees; which is required to be at twice the state’s minimum wage (to $5,373.33/month).

Notably, employers are also subject to local minimum wage ordinances with higher than state minimum wage rates. California has about 40 localities with their own minimum wage ordinances. We urge all California employers to note these increases to ensure they are paying the proper rates depending on their location, size, industry, etc.

Below is a list of California’s localities imposing new minimum wage rates, effective July 1, 2022. For official notices to employees/posters for workplace common areas, please see the website for each city or municipality.

City of Alameda – $15.75

Applies to any employee who performs at least two hours work in the city. Rate to be adjusted annually and based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

City of Berkeley – $16.99

Future increases based on CPI.

City of Emeryville – $17.68

The minimum wage increase is straightforward for all workers in the City of Emeryville. Paid Sick Leave differs for large (56 or more employees) and small (55 or fewer employees) businesses.

Foster City – $15.75

Affects businesses subject to the city’s Business License Tax, or those who maintain a work facility in the city. New minimum wage applied to all employees who work two or more hours per week in the city.

City of Fremont – $16.00

Last year, the City of Fremont required slightly lower minimum wage rates for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. As of July 1, 2022, size of the business won’t matter. Non-profit corporations are exempt from the city’s Minimum Wage Ordinance.

City of Long Beach – $16.73: Hotels

Adjustments made if either the federal minimum wage, or the cost of living, increases.

City of Long Beach – $16.55: Concessionaire Workers

Applies to those working at the Long Beach Airport or the Long Beach Convention Center and adjusted in accordance with increases to federal minimum wage or cost of living. Specifies that, “This rate will take effect only at the time that the Long Beach Airport and the Long Beach Convention Center enter into a new Concession Contracts or materially amend existing Concession Contracts.”

City of Los Angeles – $16.04

Applies to those who work within the City of Los Angeles at least two hours or more in a given workweek. In Los Angeles, the Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Poster must be posted in several languages.

City of Los Angeles – $18.17: Large Hotels (150 or More Guest Rooms)

Before June 2016, the higher minimum wage rate only applied to those hotels with 300 or more rooms, and all hotels located in the Gateway to the business district of Los Angeles International Airport.

County of Los Angeles – $15.96

Employers must pay this new rate through June 30, 2023, to all who perform at least two hours of work in a given workweek within unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The poster must be displayed in English and Spanish, as well as the primary languages the employer uses to communicate with employees.

City of Malibu – $15.96

For all workers who perform two or more hours of work in a given workweek within the Malibu city limits. The rate going into effect July 1, 2022 specifies that Malibu’s new minimum wage includes a 6.4 percent cost of living increase.

City of Milpitas – $16.40       

The City of Milpitas mandates employers who are subject to a business license requirement, or who maintain a business facility in the city pay the increased minimum wage. These employers must pay the minimum wage to all workers who perform work at least two hours in a workweek in Milpitas.

City of Pasadena – $16.11

Pasadena’s notice specifies the new minimum wage rate and applies to both adult and minor employees who work two or more hours per workweek in Pasadena.

City & County of San Francisco – $16.99

This notice covers employers in both the city and county. It specifies that the increased wage rate must be paid to temporary and part-time employees, as well as regular full time employees – if they work two or more hours in a given workweek. A lower rate may be applied to workers under 18 or over 55 at certain government-subsidized non-profit organizations.

City of Santa Monica – Non-Hotel Workers: $15.96 and Hotel Workers: $18.17

  • Non-Hotel Workers (page 1): Specifies that part-time and temporary workers are also covered in this notice, if they perform two or more hours of work in a particular workweek within the city.
  • Hotel Workers (page 2): Applies to workers whose primary place of employment is at one or more hotels, and employed either directly by the hotel or by an individual or business who contracted with the hotel to provide services. Hostel workers are not covered by the hotel living wage requirement.

City of West Hollywood – $16.00(if 49 or fewer employees); and $16.50 (if 50+ employees)

The increased pay rates for workers in the City of West Hollywood are effective from July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.

City of West Hollywood – $18.35: Hotels

Non-hotel workers in West Hollywood may be paid different rates depending on the size of the employer. For all hotel workers in the city, there is only one rate. The minimum wage is effective through December 31, 2022.

Employers should remember the following:

  • Tips and other gratuities do not count toward the minimum wage requirements.
  • The notices must be displayed in a conspicuous place at the work site – usually that’s in the kitchens, break rooms, or near time clocks where employees must punch in or out. 
  • Many of these notices list the required minimum wage for previous years. If you have not been meeting that requirement speak with employment counsel immediately.

Almost all of the notices inform employees that retaliation for complaints regarding pay deficiencies, discrepancies or outright wage theft is a violation of California Labor Code or City and Municipal Codes. It’s always best to pay correctly and on time.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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