Along with the rise in temperatures, so goes the minimum wage for many California employees. Although the state minimum wage remains $11.00 per hour for small employers (25 or fewer employees) and $12.00 per hour for large employers (26 or more employees), as of July 1, 2019, several California cities and counties increased their minimum wage requirements.
The amount of the wage increase varies by location. Some local governments continue to differentiate between large and small employers. Hotel workers in places like Long Beach, Los Angeles (city and county), and Oakland are entitled to wages higher than the minimum wage for other employees.
To ensure legal compliance, employers should know which city and county they are located within. Many cities and counties provide resources to help employers determine this information. For example, in the City of Los Angeles, employers can look online at http://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org to determine where their offices are located.
It is also important for employers to be aware that certain cities and counties dictate higher minimum wages for “covered” employees who work within the jurisdiction. For example, in Santa Monica the local minimum wage applies to any employee working a minimum of two hours within Santa Monica in a given week (even if the employer is located outside of Santa Monica). In the City of Los Angeles, the local ordinance applies to “[a]n employee … who performs at least two hours of work in a particular week within the City of Los Angeles….” An employee who performs at least two (2) hours of work in a workweek within the boundaries of the City of Alameda must be paid in compliance with that city’s minimum wage. Employers should be aware of the various jurisdictions their offices are located, and where their employees may travel to ensure compliance with those requirements.
Employers should remember to update their workplace posters to reflect the increased minimum wage in the applicable California cities and counties and update any Notices to Employee pursuant to Labor Code section 2810.5 who are hired on or after July 1, 2019 to reflect the higher minimum wage requirements.
Finally, attention employers who have contracts with hotels! Be aware that employers who contract with a hotel in any of the cities above that have minimum wages specified for hotel workers, who perform services on the hotel premises, i.e. valet parking, security services, etc., must comply with the local ordinance and pay the higher wages. Further, those ordinances have paid leave requirements, so employers should review the local ordinance carefully.
Have questions about what or how to pay your employees or any other pressing employment law issues? Your attorneys at Bradley & Gmelich can help.
Jaimee K. Wellerstein, is a Partner and the firm’s Employment Team Head. Representing employers in all aspects of employment law, Ms. Wellerstein collaborates with her clients to develop proactive business and legal strategies to try to avoid workplace conflict and employment disputes. She provides legal advice and counsel to numerous businesses, including conducting individualized training programs for both management and employees. Ms. Wellerstein performs internal audits of her clients’ employment practices to ensure compliance with the rapidly-changing world of employment laws, and guides investigations of employee allegations regarding harassment, discrimination, and employee misconduct.