California

California’s $15 an hour minimum wage is coming, but when?

Where minimum wage workers get paid the most (and least) in 2019

Minimum wages increase in 20 states on January 1, 2019. How California fits in as it rises $1 along its path to a $15 minimum wage.
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Minimum wages increase in 20 states on January 1, 2019. How California fits in as it rises $1 along its path to a $15 minimum wage.

California is on it’s way to reaching the $15-an-hour minimum wage sought by labor activists, but it’s not there yet

The current minimum wage in the Golden State is $11 for companies with 25 or fewer employees, $12 for companies with more than 25. That amount increases by $1 an hour until it hits $15.

It won’t be til Jan. 1, 2023 that all employers, regardless of size, are required to pay a minimum of $15 an hour.

However, several cities in California have gotten a jumpstart on raising the minimum wage, many of which are in the Bay Area. The following cities now have a minimum wage of $15 an hour or higher, according to the UC Berkeley Labor Center:

  • Berkeley
  • Cupertino
  • El Cerrito
  • Emeryville ($15.69 for 56 employees or more, $15 for 55 or fewer employees)
  • Los Altos
  • Mountain View ($15.65)
  • Palo Alto
  • Richmond
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Sunnyvale ($15.65)

The following cities also will reach a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all employees before the state catches up to them:

  • Alameda (July 1, 2020)
  • Belmont (Jan. 1, 2020)
  • Daly City (Jan. 1, 2021)
  • Fremont (July 1, 2020)
  • Los Angeles (July 1, 2021)
  • Los Angeles County (July 1, 2021)
  • Malibu (July 1, 2020)
  • Milpitas (July 1, 2019)
  • Pasadena (July 1, 2021)
  • Redwood City (Jan. 1, 2020)
  • San Leandro (July 1, 2020)
  • Santa Monica (July 1, 2021)
  • Sonoma (Jan. 1, 2022)
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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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