On January 1, 2024, California’s state minimum wage will increase to $16 per hour for all employers. This minimum wage rate applies to all employees, subject to a few limited exceptions. Correspondingly, exempt employees in California must earn no less than two times the state’s minimum wage, or an annual salary of no less than $66,560 (or $1,280 per week) to meet this threshold requirement. Employers should post the Minimum Wage Order and the Wage Order applicable to their workplace at a worksite area accessible to employees. The wage orders can be downloaded and printed from the workplace postings page on the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website here.

Industry-Specific Laws

In addition to the general minimum wage increase, this year, Governor Gavin Newsom approved laws changing minimum wage for certain sectors that go into effect later in 2024, including:

  • Fast food. As initially described here and here, fast food workers at national fast food chains (defined as a set of limited-service restaurants consisting of more than 60 establishments nationally) must be paid a minimum of $20 per hour, effective April 1, 2024. This law does not apply to bakeries that produce for sale on the establishment’s premises bread and sell bread as a stand-alone menu item or restaurants in grocery establishments where the grocery establishment directly employs the staff of an on-premises restaurant.
  • Healthcare. As initially described here and here, effective June 1, 2024, California’s healthcare workers must be paid according to separate minimum wage schedules for covered healthcare employees, as defined, depending on the nature of the employer. The law sets forth detailed descriptions of which types of healthcare facilities are covered and which employees are covered by the law, and the minimum wage requirement ranges from $18 per hour to $23 per hour. The law also sets forth requirements for salary-based employees providing that they are to earn a monthly salary equivalent to no less than 150% of the healthcare worker minimum wage or 200% of the applicable minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Minimum Wage Increases for Certain Localities

Employers should determine whether their city or county maintains minimum wage rates for nonexempt employees separate from and above the state rate. If a locality provides a higher minimum wage rate than the state rate, the employer must pay the higher local wage rate. As indicated in the chart below, certain localities (in bolded text) will increase their minimum wage rates for certain employees effective January 1, 2024. (Some localities increased the minimum wage rate in July 2023 and will do so again in July 2024).

City/CountyApplies toMinimum Wage Rate Per HourEffective Date
AlamedaAll employees$16.5207.01.2023
BelmontAll employees$17.3501.01.2024
BerkeleyAll employees$18.0707.01.2023
BurlingameAll employees$17.0301.01.2024
CupertinoAll employees$17.7501.01.2024
Daly CityAll employees$16.6201.01.2024
East Palo AltoAll employees$17.1001.01.2024
El CerritoAll employees$17.9201.01.2024
EmeryvilleAll employees$18.6707.01.2023
Foster CityAll employees$17.0001.01.2024
FremontAll employees$16.8007.01.2023
Half Moon BayAll employees$17.0101.01.2024
HaywardCompanies with 26 or more employees$16.9001.01.2024
Companies with 25 or fewer employees$16.001.1.2024
Los AltosAll employees$17.7501.01.2024
Los AngelesAll employees$16.7807.01.2023
Los Angeles—Unincorporated CountyAll employees$16.9007.01.2023
MalibuAll employees$16.9007.01.2023
Menlo ParkAll employees$16.7001.01.2024
MilpitasAll employees$17.2007.01.2023
Mountain ViewAll employees$18.7501.01.2024
NovatoCompanies with 25 or fewer employees$16.0401.01.2024
Companies with 26-99 employees$16.60
Companies with 100 or more employees$16.86
OaklandAll employees$16.5001.01.2024
Palo AltoAll employees$17.8001.01.2024
PasadenaAll employees$16.9307.01.2023
PetalumaAll employees$17.4501.01.2024
Redwood CityAll employees$17.7001.01.2024
RichmondAll employees$16.17 The City of Richmond has not posted an adjusted Minimum Wage for 2024. Please continue to monitor the City’s webpage for changes.01.01.2023
San CarlosAll employees$16.8701.01.2024
San DiegoAll employees$16.8501.01.2024
San FranciscoAll employees$18.0707.01.2023
San JoseAll employees$17.5501.01.2024
San MateoAll employees$17.3501.01.2024
Santa ClaraAll employees$17.7501.01.2024
Santa MonicaAll employees$16.9007.01.2023
Santa RosaAll employees$17.4501.01.2024
SonomaCompanies with 26 or more employees$17.6001.01.2024
Companies with 25 or fewer employees$16.56
South San FranciscoAll employees$17.2501.01.2024
SunnyvaleAll employees$18.5501.01.2024
West HollywoodAll employees$19.0807.01.2023