Middle Market employers in Silicon Valley need to be familiar not only with the state minimum wage, but also any local minimum wage laws that may be applicable to them, and on July 1, a few cities, including San Jose, San Francisco and Emeryville, had new minimum wages go into effect:

City Minimum Wage
San Francisco $14 per hour
San Jose $12 per hour
Emeryville $14 per hour for employers with 55 or fewer employees; $15.20 per hour with 56 or more employees

California’s minimum wage rose earlier this year to $10.50 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.  In recent years, however, many cities and counties have enacted their own minimum wage rules. Compliance with local ordinances can be complicated, because some ordinances apply only to businesses that are based in the city in question, while others apply to all employees who work some minimum number of hours in the city.

What Should Employers Do Now?

  • Identify any local ordinances that may be applicable – Employers should check to see if local minimum wage ordinances are in effect in any of the cities in which they operate, or in which their employees work.
  • Determine whether local ordinances apply only to employers who are based in the city, or to employees who work in the city – Once they identify a local ordinance that may apply, employers should determine whether the ordinance applies to employees who perform some minimum number of hours of work in the city, or only those who are based in the city.
  • Pay the required minimum wage, and beware of increases as they occur – Having identified the local minimum wage ordinances applicable to them, employers should assure that they pay at least the minimum wage required by local law to their non-exempt employees, and also be alert to further increases as they occur.
  • Comply with posting requirements – Most minimum wage laws include provisions requiring employers to post notice of the applicable minimum wage in the workplace.

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