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Reminder: 2022 California Minimum Wage Increases Impact Exempt and Nonexempt Employees

California employers should note upcoming changes to state and local minimum wage laws—many of which take effect on January 1, 2022—that will impact both nonexempt and exempt employees. These changes make California one step closer to achieving the statewide minimum wage goal of $15.00 per hour, which was enacted in the “Fair Wage Act of 2016.”

2022 California State Minimum Wage Rate

Effective January 1, 2022, California's statewide minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $14.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. But note, as explained below, some local ordinances have a higher minimum wage than the state law and some local ordinances remove any distinction in minimum wage based on employer size. Employers must comply with the local minimum wage rate if the local rate exceeds the state minimum wage rate.

2022 California Local Minimum Wage Rate Ordinances

Additionally, the following cities and counties have enacted their own local minimum wage rates increases that go into effect on January 1, 2022, or went into effect on July 1, 2021 and are differentiated by employer size.

Local Minimum Wage Rate Increases Chart

Locality

Minimum Wage
(25+ Employees)

Minimum Wage
(Small Employers with <25 Employees)

Effective Date

Alameda

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2020

Berkeley

$16.32/hour

$16.32/hour

July 1, 2021

Daly City*

$15.53/hour

$15.53/hour

January 1, 2022

El Cerrito*

$16.37/hour

$16.37/hour

January 1, 2022

Emeryville

$17.13/hour (CPI)

$17.13/hour (CPI)

July 1, 2021

Fremont

$15.25/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2021

Hayward

$15.56/hour (CPI)

$14.52/hour (CPI)

January 1, 2022

Milpitas

$15.65/hour

$15.65/hour

July 1, 2021

Oakland*

$15.06/hour

$15.06/hour

January 1, 2022

*Oakland
(Hotel Workers w/Health Benefits)

$16.38/hour

$16.38/hour

January 1, 2022

*Oakland
(Hotel Workers w/out Health Benefits)

$21.84/hour

$21.84/hour

January 1, 2022

Palo Alto

$16.45/hour

$16.45/hour

January 1, 2022

San Carlos

$15.77/hour

$15.77/hour

January 1, 2022

San Francisco

$16.32/hour

$16.32/hour

July 1, 2021

San Jose

$16.20/hour

$16.20/hour

January 1, 2022

San Leandro

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2021

Santa Clara

$16.40/hour

$16.40/hour

January 1, 2022

Santa Rosa*

$15.85/hour

$15.85/hour

January 1, 2022

Sunnyvale

$17.10/hour

$17.10/hour

January 1, 2022

Long Beach
(Hotel Workers)

$15.69/hour

$15.69/hour

July 1, 2021

Los Angeles* **
(City and County)

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2020 &
July 1, 2021, Respectively

Malibu

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2020 &
July 1, 2021, Respectively

Pasadena*

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2021

San Diego

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

January 1, 2022

Santa Monica

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

July 1, 2021

Santa Monica
(Hotel Workers)

$17.64/hour

$17.64/hour

July 1, 2021

Novato

$15.53/hour
($15.77/hour for employers with 100+ employees)

$15.00/hour

January 1, 2022

South San Francisco

$15.80/hour

$15.80/hour

January 1, 2022

Belmont*

$16.20/hour

$16.20/hour

January 1, 2022

Burlingame*

$15.60/hour

$15.60/hour

January 1, 2021

Cupertino*

$16.40/hour

$16.40/hour

January 1, 2021

East Palo Alto*

$15.60/hour

$15.60/hour

January 1, 2021

Half Moon Bay*

$15.56/hour

$15.56/hour

January 1, 2021

Los Altos*

$16.40/hour

$16.40/hour

January 1, 2021

Menlo Park*

$15.75/hour

$15.75/hour

January 1, 2021

Mountain View*

$17.10/hour

$17.10/hour

January 1, 2021

Redwood City*

$16.20/hour

$16.20/hour

January 1, 2021

*As of July 1, 2021, the city will make no distinction between smaller and larger businesses. Only one minimum wage rate will apply.

2022 California Exempt Employees Minimum Salary Increases

For workers to qualify as exempt employees, California requires that they perform exempt duties more than 50 percent of their work time; and that exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees earn a salary of no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. The minimum annual salary is based on the current state minimum wage, calculated as follows: (minimum wage x 2) x 2,080 hours. Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum salary threshold for these exemptions are:

  • Employers with 1-25 employees: $58,240 per year.
  • Employers with 26 or more employees: $62,400 per year.
  • Computer professionals: $50.00 per hour; $8,679.16 per month; $104,149.81 per year.
  • Licensed physicians and surgeons: $91.07 per hour.

Employers should review compensation for their exempt employees to ensure that the appropriate minimum salary level is satisfied. If the salary level is not satisfied, the employer should consider increasing compensation to meet the minimum, or reclassify the employee as nonexempt.

For questions about employer wage laws or other matters, reach out to our experienced Labor & Employment Department at 408.286.5800.