As of January 1, 29 states and the District of Columbia enacted minimum wage requirements that surpass the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. This includes California, which is the 3rd highest minimum wage rate in the country, with a minimum of $10 per hour for employers with fewer than 26 employees and $10.50 per hour for employers with 26 or more.
Additionally, many larger metropolitan areas in California, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, impose minimum wage restrictions that exceed the state's minimum rate. More areas could be added as 2017 progresses.
The minimum wage increase for 2017 is just the beginning for the state. The minimum wage will increase by 50 cents per hour every year until 2023, with an ending minimum wage rate of $15. For employers with fewer than 26 employees, increases will not begin until 2018.
Although there are exceptions to the California minimum wage requirements, the majority of adult and youth workers will be paid the state minimum wage, or municipal wage if applicable. Employees cannot agree to work for less than the minimum wage or be coerced by their employers into signing waivers or collective bargaining agreements.
Employers who violate the new minimum wage standards are violating the law, and should be held accountable for acting in bad faith towards their employees. If you are being denied increased minimum wages, you have the right to seek legal recourse. Contact an employment attorney today to protect your rights and discuss your options.