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Do Changes to California Wage Laws for 2021 Affect Me?

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Wage & Hour

A new year often brings many changes – including to important laws that affect nearly every aspect of our lives. Few laws hold more importance to many people than ones governing wage rates and exemptions to minimum wage and hour laws. Effective January 1, 2021, the new year brought many important changes to California that affect employees throughout the state.

Minimum Wage Increase

Beginning January 1, 2021, California increased its minimum wage rate to:

  • $14.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees (up from $13.00 per hour) and
  • $13.00 per hour for employers with 25 or less employees (up from $12.00 per hour).

California’s minimum wage rate is set to increase each year until it becomes $15.00 per hour for employers with over 25 employees on January 1, 2022 and the same rate for employers with 25 or fewer employees on January 1, 2023.

It’s important to remember this wage rate is the state minimum – many California counties and cities have already enacted minimum wage increases higher or faster than those of the state. This means you should check to see if your city of employment has a different minimum wage and make sure you’re being paid properly.

Minimum Salary Threshold

There are also important changes for employees holding positions exempt from wage and hour laws. As of January 1, 2021, employers must ensure California employees who are executively, administratively, or professionally exempt are paid a minimum salary of:

  • $58,240 annually ($1,120 weekly) for employers with over 25 employees
  • $54,080 annually ($1,040 weekly) for employers with 25 or less employees

To remain exempt, any employees acting as commissioned inside salespeople must earn over $21.00 hourly if their employer has over 25 employees or $19.50 hourly if their employer has 25 or fewer employees.

Contact a Lawyer Today

One of the most important rights for employees is being paid fairly for work performed and receiving at least the legal minimum wage. As wage laws change, employers sometimes innocently or even intentionally fail to follow the changes – leading to savings for them and hardship for their employees. If you have questions about the new minimum wage or have been the victim of wage violations at work, get help from the experienced California employment lawyers at Rothschild & Alwill, APC today. Our skilled professionals are here to understand your situation, answer your questions, and discuss the right way to make sure you’re getting paid fairly for your hard work.