California Employers Should Prepare for July 1 Minimum Wage Increases In Certain Cities and Counties

CDF Labor Law LLP

The current minimum wage is $14 per hour in California for all employers with 26 or more employees.  For employers who have less than 26 employees, the state minimum wage is $13 per hour.

California employers must also comply with local laws governing minimum wages.  On July 1, several cities and counties will increase their minimum wage.  The amount of the increase generally depends on the size of the employer and the locality, ranging from $17.31 per hour in Emeryville, California, for large employers to $13 per hour in Orange County, for small employers.  In the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, the minimum wage for all employers will increase to $15.00 per hour regardless of the employer size.

Starting July 1, 2021, minimum wages will be set as follows in the following municipalities [note that this list, while extensive, may not be comprehensive – for example Los Angeles and Santa Monica have separate minimum wage requirements for hotel workers]:

County or City Minimum Wage
(26 or More Employees)
Special Lower Minimum Wage for Small Businesses
(25 of Fewer Employees)
Alameda $15.00/hour  
Belmont $15.90/hour  
Berkeley $16.32/hour  
Burlingame $15.00/hour  
Cupertino $15.65/hour  
Daly City $15.00/hour  
East Palo Alto $15.00/hour  
El Cerrito $15.61/hour  
Emeryville $17.13/hour  
Fremont $15.25/hour $15.00/hour
Half Moon Bay $15.00/hour  
Hayward $15.00/hour $14.00/hour
Los Altos $15.65/hour  
Los Angeles (City and Unincorporated Areas of County) $15.00/hour  
Malibu $15.00/hour  
Menlo Park $15.25/hour  
Milpitas $15.65/hour  
Mountain View $16.30/hour  

$15.24/hour (100 or more employees)

$15.00/hour (26-99 employees)

Oakland $14.36/hour  
Orange (City and County) $14.00/hour $13.00/hour
Palo Alto $15.65/hour  
Pasadena $15.00/hour  
Petaluma $15.20/hour $15.00/hour
Redwood City $15.62/hour  
Richmond $15.21/hour  
San Carlos $15.24/hour  
San Diego $14.00/hour  
San Francisco $16.32/hour  
South San Francisco $15.25/hour  
San Jose $15.45/hour  
San Leandro $15.00/hour  
San Mateo $15.62/hour  
Santa Clara $15.65/hour  
Santa Monica $15.00/hour  
Santa Rosa $15.20/hour  
Sonoma $15.00/hour $14.00/hour
Sunnyvale $16.30/hour  

* Special minimum wage rates often apply to hotel workers which the above table does not capture.

California employers need to be mindful of potential minimum wage increases twice annually, on January 1 and July 1, and plan to adjust pay practices accordingly.  Additionally, local ordinances may also require employers to post notice of the minimum wage change in a conspicuous area informing employees of the increase.  

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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