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California Minimum Wage Increases in 2018

What is minimum wage in California? 

As of January 1. 2018, California’s minimum wage is $11.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $10.50 per hour for employers with less than 26 employees. 1   However, the increases in California’s minimum wage will not stop there.  Under Labor Code section 1182.12, California’s minimum wage is set to progressively increase every year until it reaches $15.00 per hour in 2023 for all employers.

When does minimum wage increase every year in California? 

Under Labor Code section 1182.12, minimum wage increase go into effect on January 1 of each year.  The tables show the amount that minimum wage in California is set increase each year until the state-wide minimum wage of $15.00 per hour is reached.

Minimum Wage Increases for Employers with 26 or MORE employees

  • January 1, 2018 — eleven dollars ($11) per hour
  • January 1, 2019 — twelve dollars ($12) per hour
  • January 1, 2020 — thirteen dollars ($13) per hour
  • January 1, 2021 — fourteen dollars ($14) per hour
  • January 1, 2022 — fifteen dollars ($15) per hour

Minimum Wage Increases for Employees with LESS than 26 employees

  • January 1, 2018 — ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50) per hour
  • January 1, 2019 — eleven dollars ($11) per hour
  • January 1, 2020 — twelve dollars ($12) per hour
  • January 1, 2021 — thirteen dollars ($13) per hour
  • January 1, 2022 — fourteen dollars ($14) per hour
  • January 1, 2023 — fifteen dollars ($15) per hour

What can I do if my employer isn’t paying me minimum wage? 

If you are not being paid minimum wage, you have several options.  Perhaps the most practical option is to simply bring the issue to your employer to see if they will resolve the issue informally.

Another options is to file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”).  Information on how to file a wage claim with the DLSE can be found on the DLSE’s website.  The downside of filing a claim with the DLSE is that – in the event you hire an attorney to represent you at your hearing, you will not be entitled to recover your attorney’s fees from your employer – which means less money in your pocket.  Another downside is that because the DLSE is much less formal than court, employers sometimes take these claims less serious than claims filed in court.

Finally, you can hire an experienced California employment law attorney to file a lawsuit to recover your unpaid minimum wages.  Many times, hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit in court is the most effective way to resolve an unpaid wage claim because the filing of a lawsuit, many times, forces the employer to hire their own attorney and, in the event they lose the case, the employer is required to pay their own attorney fees plus the attorney fees the employee incurred in hiring their lawyer. 2 Which means the employer will pay both lawyers in the event they lose.  This is often a big motivation for employers to resolve unpaid wage claims as early on as possible.

If you have been denied your right to minimum wage, contact Petronelli Law Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

  1. California Labor Code 1182.12(1)(B), (2)(A)
  2. California Labor Code section 218.5 (“(a) In any action brought for the nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare or pension fund contributions, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party if any party to the action requests attorney’s fees and costs upon the initiation of the action.”

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