Effective January 1, 2023, California employers will be required to meet new minimum wage requirements, at both the state and local level. This increase in the minimum wage affects not only non-exempt employees, but also the minimum annual salary requirement for overtime exempt employees.

Increase and Consolidation of the California Minimum Wage

Previously, the State of California employed a two-tiered minimum wage system, requiring employers with 25 or more employees to pay a higher minimum wage than employers with fewer than 25 employees. Beginning on January 1, 2023, all employers, regardless of size, must provide their employees a minimum wage of not less than $15.50 per hour.

Increase to the Minimum Annual Salary for Overtime-Exempt Employees

California law provides that overtime-exempt employees must receive a salary that is not less than two times the state minimum wage. In light of the new increase to the state minimum wage, effective January 1, 2023, the minimum annual salary for overtime-exempt employees will also increase to $64,480.

A Higher Minimum Wage for Employees Working in Select California Cities

Select California cities will raise the minimum wage for non-exempt employees working within city limits. Non-exempt employees working within one of these cities must be paid the local minimum wage when greater than the California state minimum wage. However, overtime-exempt employees working in one of these cities need not be paid more than the California state minimum annual salary of $64,480. The following list contains the local minimum wage rate, effective January 1, 2023, for non-exempt employees working in each of the California cities listed below:

California employers should work with their payroll providers to increase the relevant minimum wage for affected exempt and non-exempt employees, and ensure that the new rate is paid and properly recorded on employee pay stubs by January 1, 2023.

Source: Proskauer Rose LLP – Tony Oncidi and Wesley C. Shelton

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