In addition to the slew of new laws that employers must prepare for (and some of which are already in effect), employers shouldn’t lose sight of annual local minimum wage increases.
California’s statewide minimum wage continues to increase each year, as scheduled, until all employers reach $15/hour in 2023. Beginning January 1, 2021, employers with 26 or more employees will need to pay their employees no less than $14/hour, and employers with 25 or fewer employees will need to pay their employees no less than $13/hour. However, employers covered by local minimum wage ordinances are subject to higher rates than what the state requires.
The latest cities to adopt local minimum wage ordinances (MWOs) going into effect on January 1, 2021, are Burlingame, Half Moon Bay, Hayward and San Carlos.
On September 21, 2020, the Burlingame City Council adopted its MWO, setting the minimum wage rate at $15/hour for employers of all sizes and covering all employees working within the geographic boundaries of Burlingame. Each following year, the annual increase will be adjusted according to the regional Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay’s MWO was adopted on January 4, 2020. Its rate is also $15/hour for employers of all sizes and the ordinance applies to all employees working at least two hours per calendar week within the geographic boundaries of Half Moon Bay. Future annual increases will be adjusted according to the regional CPI.
Hayward’s minimum wage rate is two-tiered and determined by employer size. Employers with 26 or more employees must pay no less than $15/hour, and employers with 25 or fewer employees must pay no less than $14/hour. Future annual increases will be adjusted according to the regional CPI. The Hayward MWO was initially adopted to take effect on July 1, 2020; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic hardships experienced by businesses as a result, the city council voted to delay its implementation to January 1, 2021.
Like Hayward, the City of San Carlos MWO was originally slated to take effect July 1, 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic struggles it has caused businesses.
The San Carlos minimum wage rate is $15.24/hour for employers of all sizes and applies to all employees working at least two hours per week within the geographic boundaries of San Carlos. Future annual increases will be adjusted according to the regional CPI.
Each local minimum wage ordinance has notice and posting requirements, as well as recordkeeping obligations. Employers who violate the ordinance may be subject to administrative fines or penalties as well as civil action. Employers with employees who may work in any of these cities (even if only periodically) should review the ordinances and ensure compliance.
2021 Local Minimum Wage Increases
Below is a list of all cities with January 1, 2021, minimum wage increases (including the new ordinances mentioned above):
- Belmont: $15.90/hour
- Burlingame: $15/hour
- Cupertino: $15.65/hour
- Daly City: $15/hour
- El Cerrito: $15.61/hour
- Half Moon Bay: $15/hour
- Hayward: $15/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $14/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
- Los Altos: $15.65/hour
- Menlo Park: $15.25/hour
- Mountain View: $16.30/hour
- Novato: $15.24/hour for employers with 100 or more employees; $15/hour for employers with 26-99 employees; $14/hour for employers with 1-25 employees;
- Oakland: $14.36/hour
- Palo Alto: $15.65/hour
- Petaluma: $15.20/hour
- Redwood City: $15.62/hour
- Richmond: $15.21/hour
- San Carlos: $15.24/hour
- San Diego (city): $14/hour
- San Jose: $15.45/hour
- San Mateo (city): $15.62/hour
- Santa Clara: $15.65/hour
- Santa Rosa: $15.20/hour
- Sonoma (city): $15/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $14/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees;
- South San Francisco: $15.24/hour
- Sunnyvale: $16.30/hour
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