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Minimum Wage Increase in California for 2021

HomeBlogMinimum Wage Increase in California for 2021
January 05, 2021

In 2017, the California legislature started moving toward the ultimate goal of having a $15 per hour minimum wage statewide. However, to reduce the impact on businesses, the state decided to take a stair-step approach and increase the minimum wage by $1.00 per hour each year until it hit $15. As we approach January 1, 2021, employees throughout California can expect another boost in their minimum wage compensation.

This year, many companies and industry groups requested the state hold off on the expected increase due to the financial stress placed on businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, households and workers are also struggling, and there has been no move to postpone or halt the 2021 increase. 

If you earn minimum wage in California and do not see an increase on your paystub in January, you should not wait to contact a wage and hour attorney in California for help. 

What to Expect for Your Minimum Wage

As it stands in 2020, minimum wage earners receive either $12 or $13 per hour, depending on the size of the company where they work. In addition, some localities set a higher minimum wage than the state, and you should know whether a higher minimum wage applies to you. 

With minimum wage requirements already varied based on company size and location, the matter gets more complicated when the wage law changes again. In favor of employees, the minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2021, to the following:

  • $13 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees (currently $12)
  • $14 per hour for companies with more than 25 employees (currently $13)
  • Higher for cities like Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Petaluma, San Jose, San Francisco, and more

The law provides no grace period for companies to adjust their payroll after the New Year, so employers should fully prepare for the increase beforehand. This increase was no surprise, so there is no excuse for employers to adjust their compensation as needed on January 1. 

What Happens if Your Wages Do Not Increase

If the minimum wage increase applies to you, it is safe to say you are looking forward to your new pay rate, as the $1 increase adds up to more than $2,000 per year. However, if you are disappointed to learn your pay stayed the same, you should discuss the matter with a wage and hour lawyer right away. They can determine whether your employer owes you back pay and the best way to obtain it.

Discuss Any Concerns with a San Francisco Wage and Employment Attorney

As the state updates wage laws yet again, it is expected that some employers might not comply, and employees should take time to ensure their pay is correctly increased. If you do not see the new minimum wage reflected on your paycheck in 2021, you should seek help from a wage lawyer at Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP. We stand up for the rights of employees in and around the Bay Area, so please never wait to contact us for your free case evaluation today.

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