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Total Articles: 33

California Seeks to Raise Minimum Salary for White Collar Exemptions

The minimum salary to qualify for a "white collar" overtime exemption in California has been higher than that required under federal law for many years. Because California's exempt salary threshold is tied to the state minimum wage (an exempt employee generally must earn a salary of at least two times the state minimum wage), it goes up as California's minimum wage goes up. The current minimum salary for exempt executive, administrative, or professional status in California is $43,680 per year. However, as employers know, last year the federal Department of Labor enacted regulations increasing the minimum salary to qualify for exempt status under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") to $47,476 per year. California employers would have had to comply with the higher salary threshold under the FLSA, except that the regulations were blocked by a Texas court late last year. The Texas court's ruling is now on appeal, but most believe that the overtime regulations will not be reinstated -- at least in current form -- under the Trump administration. California is now seeking to accomplish what the Obama administration could not accomplish at the federal level, by proposing to raise the minimum annual salary to qualify for exempt status in California to $47,472. AB 1565 (Thurmond) is a spot bill that was amended on Tuesday to propose the salary hike. Under the bill, the minimum salary for exempt executive, administrative, or professional workers would be $47,472 or twice the state minimum wage, whichever is greater. As California's minimum wage continues to rise, a salary of twice the state minimum wage eventually will be a number greater than $47,472. Until that time, $47,472 would be the minimum salary for exempt status in California.

California’s New “Two-Tier” Minimum Wage

Starting January 1, 2017, California now has two different minimum wages – $10.00 per hour for “small” employers, and $10.50 for “large” employers. This “two-tier” minimum wage structure will remain in place for the next seven years, and will provide several ongoing challenges for employers in the Golden State. In this podcast, California Littler Shareholder, Bruce Sarchet, breaks down the impact of this two-tier approach on businesses and provides guidance on employer compliance with these new obligations.

Why Learning How to Count to 26 Just Became Important: Recent Changes to California and Local Minimum Wage Laws

Recently California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) issued an FAQ concerning 2016 legislative changes that impact the state minimum wage in 2017 and future years. The most notable change was the creation of a two-tier system in which a $10.50 minimum wage rate applies to employers with 26 or more employees and a $10.00 minimum wage rate applies to employers with 25 or fewer employees. The FAQ do not provide concrete guidance as to how employer size is calculated, but do provide a glimpse into how DLSE might interpret the law. The lack of clarity in the FAQ will particularly frustrate some Southern California employers that must also comply with local minimum wage laws which, like their state counterpart, use a 26/25 employee cut-off, but a different test to determine employer size.

New Year, New Minimum Wage – Or Maybe Not

Time was, answering the question “What is the minimum wage?” was simple. There was the federal minimum wage and the state minimum wage, and for most California employers, only the latter number really mattered. Now the answer to the question is “It depends.” As California employers begin a new year they face a confusing patchwork of laws regarding the minimum wage.

California Statewide and Local Minimum Wage Rates to Increase in 2017

The California minimum wage is scheduled to increase on January 1, 2017 to $10.50 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more employees. Small employers with 25 or fewer employees will not see an increase until 2018. The increase is a result of SB-3, which was signed into law earlier this year. The law will increase California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over 6 years, with cost of living increases scheduled thereafter.

Update on San Diego Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave

On July 11, 2016, the results of San Diego’s June election were certified, meaning that the minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinance that was approved by San Diego voters on the June ballot officially took effect on Monday. Our prior post on this new ordinance is here. If you are not already in compliance, you must begin compliance with both the minimum wage increase and the paid sick leave provisions this week. The City has released a FAQ on the new ordinance, available here. San Diego employers should also be aware that the San Diego City Council is already making changes to the paid sick leave requirements. The City is doing so pursuant to a provision in the ordinance that requires the City to create and issue an “implementing” ordinance. Under that implementation authority, the City has determined that it can also revise/clarify the paid sick leave requirements. The City has proposed an implementation ordinance that includes some significant changes to the paid sick leave provisions of the original ordinance.

Los Angeles One-Two Punch Revisited: More FAQs on the New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On June 1, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance impacting employers in the city of Los Angeles and mandating paid sick leave beyond that which is required under the recently passed California statute (Cal. Labor Code section 245, et. seq.).

REMINDER: City of Los Angeles and Unincorporated Areas of Los Angeles County Minimum Wage Increases to $10.50 Per Hour on July 1, 2016

Effective this Friday, July 1, 2016, employers with 26 of more employees, must pay employees who perform at least two hours of work within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles within a particular week at least $10.50 for each hour worked.

Los Angeles Approves Minimum Wage Increases and Mandates Employers to Provide 48 Hours of Paid Sick Leave

Employers in the City of Los Angeles will need to review their current minimum wage and paid sick leave policies to ensure they comply with the new City ordinance increasing the minimum wage and extending paid sick leave benefits to employees working in the City.

San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance Approved by Popular Vote

Employers in the City of San Diego will need to review their current paid sick leave and minimum wage policies to ensure they comply with a voter-approved ordinance extending paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage for workers in the City.

Minimum Wage Increases Advance in San Diego and Washington, DC

Two more cities are expected to join the growing ranks of municipalities around the country that have adopted local minimum wage laws.

California Raises its Minimum Wage and Expands Paid Sick Leave

When it wants to, the California Legislature can act with impressive speed. It did so last week on a minimum wage increase bill (SB 3)1 when, in less than 96 hours, it amended the legislation and sped it through two committee hearings and two final floor considerations. On Monday, April 4, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill, which will eventually raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour, into law. The bill’s proponents said that under this measure, nearly six million California workers—more than one-third of the Golden State’s workforce—will receive a raise.2

California Approves Nation's First Statewide $15.00 Minimum Wage

Today California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a sweeping plan that will eventually increase the statewide minimum wage from $10.00 to $15.00 per hour. While the state of New York announced a deal last week that will also increase the state minimum wage to $15.00 in most areas (while preserving the possibility of a suspension in the rate growth depending on economic factors), California becomes the first state to implement a statewide rate at that level.

Governor Brown Signs California’s $15 Minimum Wage Bill

On April 4, 2016, Governor Brown—as expected—signed a bill to raise the state minimum wage rate to $15.00 per hour by 2022. The new law will increase the minimum wage for large and small businesses according to two schedules. It will also have the effect of increasing the minimum exempt salary requirement for exempt California employees.

California $15 Minimum Wage Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

On March 31, 2016, the California legislature approved the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage. SB-3, approved in both the State Senate and Assembly, will increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2022. Governor Jerry Brown has already signaled that he intends to sign the bill into law on Monday, April 4, 2016.

California Passes $15 Minimum Wage Bill

California's legislature on March 31 passed a bill that, if signed by the governor as expected, will raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next six years.

California Governor Agrees To Unprecedented $15.00 Minimum Wage

On Monday, March 28, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown, flanked by union and state government officials, announced an agreement with state legislators to increase the statewide minimum wage from $10.00 to $15.00 per hour.

California Lawmakers Reach Deal to Raise California Minimum Wage to $15/Hour by 2022

Last week, we reported on two labor-backed measures to increase California’s minimum wage that may be on the November ballot in California. Now, it appears that California’s lawmakers have struck a deal with labor groups to raise the minimum wage without sending the minimum wage hike proposals to the voters to decide. Governor Brown’s office issued a press release today describing the “landmark agreement.”

Santa Monica Adopts Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Ordinance

In January of 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a wide-reaching ordinance that will raise the city’s minimum wage and impose paid sick leave requirements that exceed the state’s paid sick leave statute. The ordinance also establishes an even higher minimum wage for hotel workers. The city established a minimum wage working group to make further recommendations on the ordinance. Absent working group consensus on specific changes, the ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Pasadena Joins Growing List of California Cities Imposing City Minimum Wage

On March 14, 2016, the Pasadena City Council adopted an ordinance to increase the city’s minimum wage. Beginning on July 1, 2016, employers with 26 or more employees must pay a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour to all employees who work at least 2 hours per week within the city’s geographic bounds. The minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour on July 1, 2017, and $13.25 per hour on July 1, 2018.

California Lawmakers and Unions Agree to $15 Minimum Wage

According to media and government reports, California lawmakers have struck a deal with labor unions to increase the statewide minimum wage to $15.00 per hour over several years.

Measure to Further Increase California Minimum Wage on November Ballot

An initiative backed by labor union SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West to raise California’s minimum wage is slated to be on the November ballot, after backers gathered more than 400,000 signatures supporting the measure. The measure, dubbed The Fair Wage Act of 2016, proposes increasing California’s minimum wage to $11 per hour in 2017, with further one dollar per hour increases each year thereafter until reaching $15 per hour in 2021. A competing measure backed by another branch of the same labor group, SEIU-State Council, may also make it on the November ballot as the largest labor union in the state continues to gather signatures for that initiative. This rival measure seeks to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 (a year earlier than the SEIU-UHW backed measure) and also seeks to mandate that California employers provide employees with 6 days of paid sick leave per year (double the amount currently required). We will keep you posted of any significant developments related to these measures.

Santa Monica, California, Joins Patchwork of Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws

California’s City of Santa Monica’s City Council has adopted an ordinance that enacts minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements for covered employees as well as new regulations pertaining to service charges and surcharges. Ordinance Number 2509 became effective on February 25, 2016, although its provisions will not be implemented until July 1, 2016.

California Employers Beware: Many California Cities Have Enacted Minimum Wage Ordinances

California’s minimum wage increased to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016. This is the second increase in just 18 months under legislation originally signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013. Unfortunately, this latest increase to the statewide minimum wage is not the only one facing California employers. More than a dozen cities across California have already enacted their own minimum wage ordinances requiring employers to pay workers at rates as high as $15.37 per hour – and several other cities are looking to follow suit. It is a hodgepodge environment in our state, when it comes to minimum wage regulation.

California Minimum Wage Bill Stalls in Legislature

A controversial bill to increase California’s minimum wage has failed to pass in the state legislature. The bill would have phased in a $3.00 per hour increase to the minimum wage rate and also would have imposed annual cost of living increases.

The New Highest Minimum Wage in the Country: Emeryville Expected to Reach $16 Per Hour by 2020

As of this week’s vote, the small California city of Emeryville, which is located in San Francisco’s Bay Area, is slated to have one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. As expected, on June 2, 2015, the Emeryville City Council voted unanimously in favor of a minimum wage ordinance that will raise Emeryville’s minimum wage rate to over $16.00 per hour by 2020.

Los Angeles Sets Path for $15 Minimum Wage

Los Angeles is on track to have one of the highest minimum wages in the nation.

The Trend Continues: Los Angeles City Council Tentatively Approves Citywide $15 Minimum Wage and Proposes Sick Leave Ordinance

On May 19, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council approved a proposal for a gradual establishment of a citywide minimum wage of $15.00 per hour by July 1, 2020. Once adopted, Los Angeles will join other large U.S. cities, including Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, to establish local minimum wage ordinances that far exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The State of California has already raised the statewide minimum wage to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2014, with an increase to $10.00 per hour set to go into effect on January 1, 2016.

Voters Approve Minimum Wage Hikes In San Francisco And Oakland

On Tuesday, San Franciscans overwhelmingly voted to raise the City’s minimum wage to $15.00 over the next few years. The San Francisco current minimum wage of $10.74 is already higher than both the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and California’s minimum wage of $9.00. Under the new law, wages will rise to $11.05 on January 1, 2015, then to $12.25 in May 2015, before increasing every year until they reach $15.00 in 2018.

Is the Los Angeles Minimum Wage Increasing to $13.25 per Hour?

On Monday, September 1 in a Labor Day speech, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his proposal to increase the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 per hour by 2017, and to tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index going forward. California’s minimum wage increased this summer to $9 per hour, and will increase again to $10 per hour in January of 2016.

Are Further Increases In California Minimum Wage Laws On The Horizon?

Existing law requires that California’s minimum wage for all industries be no less than $9 per hour effective July 1, 2014 and $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016. Even before the second-tier increase goes into effect, new legislation has been introduced seeking to further increase California’s minimum wage.

Minimum Wage As Class Warfare: A Creeping Activism.

Most of us who know the work history of our ancestors appreciate the gains made over the past 100 years with regard to fewer hours of work, a higher standard of living, and the opportunity to enjoy family time. However, many employees and their advocates, and some judges, are promoting causes calculated to further help workers but which actually are job killers. This creeping activism is destroying business across the country and, if not checked, could lead to greater unemployment, lower wages, and increased homelessness.

New Year Brings Automatic Increases To California Payroll Costs.

Effective January 1, 2008, the California Minimum Wage will increase from $7.50 to $8.00 per hour, a 6.7% increase. This increase will trigger several automatic changes in your minimum-compensation requirements.