California’s state-wide minimum wage increase and what it means for employers

Despite opposition from the Chamber of Commerce, governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill raising California’s minimum wage for the first time since 2008.

AB 10 amends the California Labor Code, raising the state’s minimum wage in two separate one-dollar increments: from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour, effective 1 July 2014, and then from $9.00 per hour to $10.00 per hour, effective 1 January 2016. The new law does not currently provide for any annual inflation-adjusted increases.

Several municipalities in California have already set minimum wage rates which exceed state and federal thresholds and apply to all employees doing work within the geographic boundaries of that locality. For instance, an employee who works in San Francisco must be paid at least $10.55 per hour, while San Jose’s minimum wage rate is $10.00 per hour. Similarly, airport employees working at LAX must be paid at least $10.91 per hour with health benefits of at least $4.76 per hour, or $15.67 per hour without health benefits…

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