In April, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB3 into law. The new law increases California’s minimum wage each year until it reaches $15 per hour. This increase applies to employers with at least 26 employees on January 1, 2022. This makes for the highest statewide minimum wage in the United States. New York enacted a similar bill mandating a $15 an hour minimum wage in April as well.
Governor Brown initially opposed the bill just a shortly before signing into law, claiming that it “would put a lot of poor people out of work.” He announced his change of heart on April 4, Governor Brown announcing that, while an increase in the minimum wage, economically, “may not make sense”, “morally and socially and politically” it does.
California’s minimum wage will increase in accordance with the following schedule for employers that employ 26 or more employees:
- January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017: $10.50/hour.
- January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018: $11/hour.
- January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019: $12/hour.
- January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020: $13/hour.
- January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021: $14/hour.
- Starting January 1, 2022 the minimum wage will finally hit $15/hour.
For those employers with less than 26 employees, the schedule lags behind the above increase schedule by one year. Thus, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour beginning on January 1, 2018, and continuing on increasing annually until minimum wage reaches $15 per hour on January 1, 2023.
Employers are required by law to pay employees at least the minimum wage. Employers are also mandated to provide meal and rest breaks according to state law. When an employer fails to pay an employee the minimum wage, the employee may have a legal claim against the employer. The wage and hour lawyers at Aiman-Smith & Marcy are available to review your wage and hour claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.