$10.50 per hour is the minimum wage in California. Remember that number. Because if a potential employer is trying to convince you to take less than this amount, you are being deceived. Employers in California are subject to both federal and state employee wage laws. The federal government mandates compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), while California is governed by the California Labor Code.
According to the FLSA and current U.S. regulations, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. In contrast, the California Labor Code Section 1182.12 has established an annually increasing state minimum wage for employers with more than 26 employees. Beginning January 1, 2017 through the end of this year, the state minimum wage is $10.50 per hour.
$10.50 per hour is clearly more than $7.25 per hour, so how do we reconcile that difference? Fortunately, the laws in California favor employees and strictly mandate that employers pay the highest minimum wage mandated by federal, state, or local law. For Californians, this means the minimum wage is $10.50 unless local laws establish a higher wage. So essentially, if you work in California and your employer is insistent on paying you the federal minimum wage, you are being ripped off and your employer is violating your legal rights.
Local minimum wages
This leads to the next issue: what cities require a higher minimum wage? There are several. If you live in the following cities, employers are mandated to pay you at least the following hourly wage:
Berkeley - $12.53; Emeryville - $13.00; Los Angeles - $12.00; Mountain View - $13.00; Oakland - $12.55; Palo Alto - $11.00; Richmond - $12.30; San Francisco - $14.00; Santa Clara - $11.10.
The aforementioned minimum wage laws apply to the vast majority of employees. However, there is a classification of "exempt" employees, to whom the same standard does not apply. This generally includes immediate family members of an employer, or outside salespeople.
Cannot be Negotiated Down
While you are welcome, and are smart to, negotiate a higher starting wage when you are offered a job, the opposite is not true. In fact, an employer is legally prohibited from attempting to offer you an hourly wage that is lower than the minimum wage. If you encounter an employer who attempts to negotiate a starting wage that is below the minimum wage, you should speak with an attorney.
Call Moss Bollinger to Fight For You
Employers are legally obligated to pay the highest minimum wage possible. If you live in California, look up the minimum wage in the city where you work or are seeking employment. If you are offered less than that, the employer is violating federal and state laws. Moss Bollinger is an employee rights law firm that fights for the legal rights of our clients. If you have been harmed by an employer, call us. We work on a contingency basis and do not receive any money unless you do. Call the attorneys at Moss Bollinger today at 800-249-1175 for a free consultation or use our online form.