Most business owners are aware that they must comply with minimum wage laws. However, what is less well known is that there can be different regulations made by a state, county, or even a municipal government. Even more confusing is that these regulations can change, and the changes can take effect at different times of the year. Working with a Silicon Valley business lawyer ensures your compliance with all current wage laws and prevents costly employment disputes in the future.
State Minimum Wage Changes
The California state legislature sets the state minimum wage. The wage policy is frequently reviewed, with annual changes generally taking effect on January 1 of the next calendar year. California’s statewide minimum wage is currently $13 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $12 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. According to the Department of Industrial Relations, California law currently requires an increase in the minimum wage every year, making it important for employers to check every annual change in order to keep current with their legal obligations.
County Minimum Wage Changes
Although California’s minimum wage is generally adjusted annually on January 1, many counties have local ordinances that raise minimum wages each July 1. Employers need to be aware of all applicable increases taking place on July 1, 2020, which are by and large higher than California’s statewide minimum wage. Here are minimum wages in the counties in and around Silicon Valley:
○ Alameda – $15/hour
○ Berkeley – $16.07/hour
○ Emeryville – $16.84/hour
○ Fremont – $15/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $13.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees
○ Milpitas – $15.40/hour
○ San Francisco – $16.07/hour
○ San Leandro – $15/hour
Minimum Wage for Employees Who Are Working Remotely Due to COVID-19
COVID-19 has subjected employers to many financial difficulties. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, however, the counties listed above have not delayed the implementation of their July 1 minimum wage increases. Employers in these counties are still legally obligated to comply with the changes that took effect on July 1, 2020.
COVID-19 has also led to a massive increase in the number of American employees working remotely. If companies have employees working remotely, the minimum wage rate of the employer’s area applies, not the location of the employee. Employers must consider any changes that will occur if they relocate to a different county.
The Right Silicon Valley Lawyers for Wage and Hour Questions
Minimum wage is a complicated legal issue. Not only is the rate constantly changing, but it brings up other wage and hour issues. Are employers required to pay overtime? If so, how much? What about shift workers? Are shift differential payments needed? What about hazard pay? Employers can face costly liability if they do not follow state and local employment laws precisely. The experienced employment lawyers at Structure Law Group know how to keep your business compliant and limit your potential liability. Call (408) 441-7500 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation.