What is the Minimum Wage in California?

By Stephanie C. Harper, PHRca, CCP, CHRM

The minimum wage in California for 2022 for employers with 25 or fewer employees is $14 an hour. Employers with 26 or more employees pay $15 per hour. In 2023, the minimum wage rates for all employers of all sizes increased to $15.50 to level out the playing field. This means some employees will get a jump of $1.50/hr if they were making $14 an hour in 2023. The minimum base wages will be the same for non-exempt employees.

There are many complexities to California labor laws. If you operate in more than one location, you could be subject to multiple different minimum wage levels in a single day. Get your calculations wrong and you face the prospect of wage and hour lawsuits.

Take a peek at the chart below to ensure that you are compliant with the current laws. Remember those employees with exempt status, must make 2 times the minimum wage.

County or City2022 Minimum Wage2023 Minimum Wage2022 Minimum Wage for Small Businesses2023 Minimum Wage for Small Businesses
Alameda$15.7515.75 + CPI (not to exceed 5%)
Belmont$16.2016.20 + CPI
Berkeley$16.9916.99 + CPI
Cupertino$16.4016.40 + CPI
Daly City$15.00$16.07 (effective 1/1/23)
East Palo Alto$15.60$15.60 + CPI
El Cerrito$16.37$16.37 + CPI
Emeryville$17.48$17.48 + CPI
Foster City$15.75$16.50 (effective 1/1/23)
Fremont$16.00 for all employers$16.00 + CPI for all employers
Half Moon Bay$15.56$15.56 + CPI (up to 3.5% per year)
Hayward**$15.56$15.56 + CPI$14.52$15.00
Los Altos$16.40$16.40 + CPI
Los Angeles$16.04 ($18.86 per hour for employees at large hotels )$16.04 + CPI ($18.86 per hour for employees at large hotels)
Los Angeles County$15.96$15.96 + CPI
Malibu$15.96$15.96 + CPI
Menlo Park$15.75$15.75 + CPI capped at 3%
Milpitas$16.40$16.40 + CPI
Mountain View$17.10$17.10 + CPI

$15.77 for businesses with 100+ employees
$15.53 + CPI (for businesses with 26-99 employees)

$15.77 + CPI (for businesses with 100+ employees)
Oakland$15.06$15.50 (new State-wide minimum wage effective 1/1/23)
Palo Alto$16.45$16.45 + CPI
Pasadena$16.11$16.11 + CPI$14.00$15.00
Petaluma$15.85$17.06 (effective 1/1/23)
Redwood City$16.20$16.20 + CPI
Richmond$15.54$15.54 + CPI
San Carlos$15.77$15.77 + CPI capped at 3.5%
San Diego$15.00$16.25 (effective 1/1/23)
San Francisco$16.99 (Government supported employees – $15.03)$16.99 (effective 7/1/22 – 6/30/23)
San Jose$16.20$16.20 + CPI
San Leandro$15.00$15.50 (new State-wide minimum wage effective 1/1/23)
San Mateo$16.20$16.20 + CPI
Santa Clara$16.40$16.40 + CPI
Santa Monica15 $15.96$15.96 + CPI
Santa Rosa$15.85$17.06 (effective 1/1/23)
Sonoma$16.00$17.00 + CPI for large employers; $16.00 + CPI for businesses with less than 25 employees (effective 1/1/23)$15.0016.00 (effective 1/1/23)
South San Francisco$15.80$15.80 + CPI
Sunnyvale$17.10$17.10 + CPI
West Hollywood$16.50 for large employers. $16.00 for employers with fewer than 50 employees
$18.35 for hotel employees
$18.86 for large employers (effective 7/1/23)
$18.86 for businesses with less than 50 employees (effective 7/1/23)
$18.86 for hotel employees (effective 7/1/23)
$15.00 increasing to $16.00$17.00 increasing to $18.86 (effective 7/1/23)
Chart originally published by PayCor

Stephanie C. Harper, PHRca, CHRM, CCP is a certified human resources professional with more than 30 years of experience. As the HR Compliance Coach, she is helping businesses across the Country to “Know better, Do Better and Be Better!” www. StephanieHarper.com