California Raises Minimum Wage to Highest in Nation in 2016

Our Los Angeles Employer Attorney Discusses This Change

The California legislature recently passed legislation to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10 by the beginning of 2016. This news comes in the wake of similar legislation that failed to pass the House of Representatives in February. Over the next two years, workers across the Golden State can expect to see their hourly wages rise because of the new law.

Higher Wages Hoped to Boost Economy

Presently, the minimum hourly wage in California is $8. In July 2014, it will rise to $9 per hour, and it will proceed to $10 at the beginning of January 2016. This change will make California the state with the highest minimum wage in the country. Before the new law, the state with the highest minimum wage was Washington at $9.19 an hour.

Governor Jerry Brown supports the legislation, adding that it “will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.” Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez stated that the increase would ensure that “California’s job market continues growing faster than the rest of the nation.”

Some areas of the state already offer workers the benefits of a higher minimum wage. For example, San Francisco and San Jose both raised their citywide minimum wages earlier this year to $10.55 and $10 respectively.

In addition to the California labor law, workers will still be entitled to time-and-a-half pay when their workweeks exceed 40 hours.

The Need for Wage Increases

A recent report by the government of New York City compared the “effective minimum wages” of all the major cities in the United States. Currently, the minimum wage in Los Angeles is $8 per hour, but an hour of labor is only worth $6.07 after taking into account the cost of living in the city.

Many hope that the minimum wage increase will help to counteract the costs of living in the Los Angeles area. However, workers should be aware of their legal rights to receive minimum wage. Both California and federal laws prohibit wage discrimination based on gender, age and disability. It is vital that individuals contact an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney if they suspect that their employer is violating their right to fair compensation.

We Protect Employee Rights

If you are in the midst of a wage dispute with your employer, contact our Los Angeles labor lawyers today to set up a consultation about your case. We use our years of experience to protect the rights of Los Angeles workers, and we are able to represent your case aggressively and with diligence.