(650) 735-2436   (209) 643-2436

California Minimum Wage – (CA Labor Code section 1182.12)

A lot of my ideas for blog posts come from topics I encounter while doing research on something else, usually a case I’m working on. In this post, I’m going to go over one of those topics — namely, the statute in California where the amount of the minimum wage is set. Much is said about the minimum age normally (e.g. it hasn’t gone up in X years, etc), particularly now. As I write this, it is mid-May 2020 and many people — at least a few earning minimum wage — are out of work or have been out of work for the last several weeks due to corona virus.

When discussing the minimum wage, it’s important to be clear about which one applies. The federal government has one. Many states (e.g. California) have one. Many cities within a state also have one. For example, the city of San Jose, CA has a local ordinance ( San Jose Ordinance # 298929) specifying the minimum wage as $15.25 as of May 14, 2020. Many other cities in the vicinity of San Jose, CA also have higher minimum wages than what the state of California requires.

In California, the statute that describes the amount of the minimum wage if California Labor Code section 1182.12. That statute is fairly long so I can’t paste the entire thing here. There’s a lot that goes over a lot of math and other computations that needs to be done. The parts that I’m guessing most of you will be interested in is where the actual values of the minimum wage are specified. That’s in section 1182.12(b)(1) and (2) which provide:

“(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the minimum wage for all industries shall not be less than the amounts set forth in this subdivision, except when the scheduled increases in paragraphs (1) and (2) are temporarily suspended under subdivision (d).

(1) For any employer who employs 26 or more employees, the minimum wage shall be as follows:

(A) From January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, inclusive,—ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50) per hour.

(B) From January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, inclusive,—eleven dollars ($11) per hour.

(C) From January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, inclusive,—twelve dollars ($12) per hour.

(D) From January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, inclusive,—thirteen dollars ($13) per hour.

(E) From January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, inclusive,—fourteen dollars ($14) per hour.

(F) From January 1, 2022, and until adjusted by subdivision (c)—fifteen dollars ($15) per hour.

(2) For any employer who employs 25 or fewer employees, the minimum wage shall be as follows:

(A) From January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, inclusive,—ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50) per hour.

(B) From January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, inclusive,—eleven dollars ($11) per hour.

(C) From January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, inclusive,—twelve dollars ($12) per hour.

(D) From January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, inclusive,—thirteen dollars ($13) per hour.

(E) From January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, inclusive,—fourteen dollars ($14) per hour.

(F) From January 1, 2023, and until adjusted by subdivision (c)—fifteen dollars ($15) per hour.”

Two things to notice:

  • First, the amount of the minimum wage depends on the time. In later years, it’s more than it is in earlier years.
  • Second, the minimum wage that applies in California depends on how many employees your employer has. The lawyers among you will notice how this gives rise to at least two potential complications: (1) who counts as an “employee”; and (2) is the number of “employees” correct? For example, is the number depressed because the employer is misclassifying — either intentionally or by accident — employees as independent contractors?

As always, I hope this post helps. It was not intended as a comprehensive discussion of the topic of minimum wages. This topic can get quite complicated, depending on which city, county, or state you’re referring to. If you’re going to rely on the information in this post, please do your own research because the authorities I cite to above might have changed in the time between when I wrote this post and when you’re reading it. If you do have a case involving a minimum wage problem, please do find an attorney in your area with whom you can discuss your scenario face-to-face.

The following two tabs change content below.

Andy Chen

Andy I. Chen is a lawyer licensed to practice law in California and New York. Andy maintains offices in Los Altos, California and Modesto, California. Under the New York Court of Appeals' 2015 decision in Schoenefeld v. State of New York, Andy does not accept cases from those in New York state. He does, however, know many lawyers in New York state and would be happy to make a referral.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.