Don’t forget the upcoming minimum wage increases
Jennifer Woo Burns
Jasmin B. Bhandari
With the New Year comes new minimum wage increases. The California minimum wage rises from $10 to $10.50 per hour effective January 1st, 2017. In addition, San Diego’s minimum wage increases from $10.50 to $11.50 on January 1st. The minimum wage in some of the larger cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica all have increases coming on July 1st so we will provide updates on those increases next year. As a number of local minimum wage ordinances have proliferated in the recent past, it is important for employers to ascertain whether any such ordinances apply to any of their employees and to keep updated with those parallel obligations. Remember that the employer must comply with the law that most benefits the employee (i.e., the highest applicable minimum wage rate).
Employers should also remain mindful that the state minimum wage affects pay beyond just hourly employees. For example, to qualify for the commission sales exemption, the employee must be paid at least 1 ½ the minimum wage for each hour worked, so this threshold will now be higher. Also employees, such as service technicians, who are required to provide their own tools must be paid at least double the minimum wage for each hour worked. Employers should also check to make sure their workplace postings reflect these new rates at the new year.