WHAT’S NEW IN 2021: CALIFORNIA MINIMUM WAGE RATE INCREASES « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


From 2016’s Senate Bill (SB) 3, California minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2021 to $13.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $14.00 for employers with 26 or more. SB 3’s final statewide increase to $15.00 per hour will be in 2022 for larger employers and in 2023 for those with 25 employees or less. See California’s Gradual Increases in Minimum Wage, to Reach $15.00 Per Hour by January 1, 2022 (April, 2016).

Several municipalities have ordinances directing even higher minimums. This can present particular challenges for businesses with workers active in one or more of these local jurisdictions.  Best practice is to set the hourly rate by highest among the applicable cities or counties.  The UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education publishes regular updates.

City or County Minimum Wage Rate
Alameda (effective from July 1, 2020) $15.00
Belmont $15.90
Berkeley  $16.07
Burlingame $15.00
Cupertino  (indexed to Consumer Price Index [CPI])    $15.65
Daly City   $15.00
El Cerrito   (indexed to CPI)    $15.61
Emeryville (indexed to CPI) $16.84
Half Moon Bay $15.00
Hayward $14.00 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00 (26 or more employees)
Fremont (effective from July 1, 2020) $15.00 (currently $15.00) (26+ employees)
$13.50 (25 or fewer employees)
Los Altos   (indexed to CPI)    $15.65
Los Angeles City  (from July 1, 2020) $14.25 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00 (currently (26+ employees)
Los Angeles County (Unincorporated Areas) (indexed to CPI)    $14.25 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00 (26+ employees)
Malibu (effective from July 1, 2020) $14.25 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00  (26+ employees)
Menlo Park (indexed to CPI) $15.25
Milpitas (will be indexed to CPI on July 1, 2021) $15.40
Mountain View   (indexed to CPI)  $16.30
Novato $14.00 (25 or fewer employees)
$15.00 (26+ employees)
$15.24 (100+ employees)
Oakland (indexed to CPI) $14.36
Palo Alto (indexed to CPI) $15.65
Pasadena  (effective from July 1, 2020) $14.25 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00 (26+ employees)
Petaluma (indexed to CPI) $15.20
Redwood City (indexed to CPI) $15.62
Richmond (indexed to CPI) $15.21
San Carlos (indexed to CPI) $15.24
San Diego           $14.00
San Francisco City and County (indexed to CPI) $16.07
San Jose   (indexed to CPI) $15.45
San Leandro (indexed to inflation on July 1, 2021) $15.00
San Mateo (indexed to CPI) $15.62
Santa Clara (indexed to CPI)  $15.65
Santa Monica (effective from July 1, 2020) $14.25 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00 (26 employees or more)
Santa Rosa (indexed to CPI)   $15.20
Sonoma $14.00 (25 or fewer employees) and
$15.00 (26+ employees)
South San Francisco (indexed to CPI)   $15.24
Sunnyvale (indexed to CPI)   $16.30

Employers should promptly review the information for their location(s). Some cities require written notice to employees of the increase by a certain date.  Covered employers must also conspicuously post an updated wage notice/bulletin for each applicable jurisdiction.

See also:

For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

Daniska Coronado

December 23, 2020

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