Minimum Wage in California: September 2022

Aerial view of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento.
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The current minimum wage in California is $15.00 an hour for businesses with more than 25 employees. For companies with 25 employees or fewer, the minimum wage is $14.00. This is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

What Is the Minimum Wage in California by City?

There are many exceptions to the minimum wage rule based on local jurisdictions. In fact, more than 30 cities are already paying a minimum wage above $17.00 per hour. Here are minimum wages for some of the larger cities in California:

City Minimum Wage
Belmont $16.20
Burlingame $15.60
Cupertino $16.40
Daly City $15.53
East Palo Alto $15.60
El Cerrito $16.37
Half Moon Bay $15.56
Hayward $15.56
Los Altos $16.40
Menlo Park $15.75
Mountain View $17.10
Novato — more than 100 employees $15.77
Novato — between 26 and 99 employees $15.53
Novato — less than 26 employees $15.00
Oakland $15.06
Palo Alto $16.45
Petaluma $15.85
Redwood City $16.20
Richmond $15.54
San Carlos $15.77
San Diego $15.00
South San Francisco $15.80
San Jose $16.20
San Leandro $15.00
San Mateo $16.20
Santa Clara $16.40
Santa Rosa $15.85
Sonoma — 26 employees or more $16.00
Sonoma — less than 26 employees $15.00
Sunnyvale $17.10
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Some cities within California have implemented minimum wage hikes as of July 2022. These can be found in the table below.

City Minimum Wage
Alameda $15.75
Berkeley $16.99
Emeryville $17.68
Fremont $16.00
Foster City $15.75
Los Angeles $16.04
Los Angeles — hotel employees $18.17
Long Beach — hotel employees $16.73
Long Beach — concessionary workers $16.55
Malibu $15.96
Milpitas $16.40
Pasadena $16.11
San Francisco $16.99
Santa Monica $15.96
Santa Monica — hotel employees $18.35
West Hollywood — more than 50 employees $16.50
West Hollywood — less than 50 employees $16.00
West Hollywood — hotel employees $17.64
Los Angeles County $15.96

What Is the California Minimum Wage Per Year?

Based on a 40-hour workweek — without considering any additional benefits — individuals on state minimum wage will earn between $29,120 and $31,200 per year. After-tax, this is between $24,694 and $26,283.

Those living in areas with higher minimum wages will see higher yearly earnings, as well.

Is There a Minimum Wage Increase in 2022?

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, there will be a state-wide minimum wage increase to $15.50 from Jan. 1, 2023.

What Is a Livable Wage in California?

MIT’s living wage calculators consider general expenses such as food, transport, housing and other essential needs. Here are some of the living wage estimates for different types of employees before tax in California:

  • Single adults — $45,382
  • Two adults, one working, with two children — $97,240
  • Two adults, both working, with no children — $69,841
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What Is the Lowest Pay Per Hour in California?

The minimum hourly wage in California is $14.00 or $15.00. However, there are some exceptions to these rates. Those with no prior work experience in their new role may only receive 85% of the standard minimum wage for example.

There can also be circumstances where people who are physically impaired or have a mental disability are paid below the minimum wage. In these situations, a license must be authorized by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

If an employer fails to pay at least the minimum wage, employees can file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or file a lawsuit.

Do Employers Have To Pay for Overtime in California?

There are multiple rules for employees working beyond their standard hours. Employees are entitled to time and a half for

  • Any extra hours worked more than a 40-hour work week
  • Any extra hours worked over an 8-hour day
  • The first eight hours for a seventh consecutive day of work in one workweek
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Employees are entitled to double pay under the following circumstances:

  • Any extra hours worked in excess of 12 hours in one day
  • Any extra hours worked more than 8 hours for a seventh consecutive day of work in one workweek

Takeaway

The Californian minimum wage is considerably higher than many other states in the U.S. It is also home to the highest minimum wage nationwide at $17.68 in Emeryville, CA. While the wages are good, the living expenses are high too, so it’s important to take into account all costs if considering relocating to California.

Information is accurate as of Sept. 2, 2022, and subject to change.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

David is a qualified financial advisor in the Republic of Ireland. He has a bachelor's degree in business and entrepreneurship, as well as over five years of investing experience.
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