Minimum wage increase mandate effective January 1st

From SSC posted December 2, 2021

Starting January 1, 2022, the state minimum wage increases once again—this time to $15 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees. Employers with 25 employees or fewer are required to comply with the $14 per hour minimum wage starting January 1, 2022. An increase in the state minimum wage also increases the minimum salary for employees in certain positions to be exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Here is the minimum wage implementation schedule, along with the minimum salary for exempt employees:

Minimum Wage Effective Date:
> 25 Employees
Effective Date:
≤ 25 Employees
Exempt Minimum
Salary (Weekly)
Exempt Minimum
Salary (Monthly)
Exempt Minimum
Salary (Annually)
$13.00/hour January 1, 2020 January 1, 2021 $1,040 $4,507 $54,080
$14.00/hour January 1, 2021 January 1, 2022 $1,120 $4,853 $58,240
$15.00/hour January 1, 2022 January 1, 2023 $1,200 $5,200 $62,400


Note that, depending on your location, your agency may be required to comply with a higher local minimum wage—there are many cities and counties in CA that have an ordinance requiring a higher minimum wage than the state. Also keep in mind that under the current remote working conditions for some employees across the state, it is important to note that local ordinances are based on where the employee is working. For example, if an employer has an hourly employee working remotely and they reside in a city with a local ordinance, the employer may be subject to that ordinance, only if the local ordinance hourly wage exceeds the employee’s regular hourly wage. This, of course, has significant salary implications since local educational agencies are subject to uniform salary schedule rules. In order to conduct an audit to determine the potential impacts, we recommend that you run a report of employee addresses in comparison with the list of city ordinances that can be found here. It is also prudent that you work closely with an attorney in determining the potential impact.

Remember that the minimum wage is an obligation of the employer and cannot be waived by any agreement, including collective bargaining agreements. So even if you find yourselves in the middle of negotiations regarding salary, as employers, you are still obligated to comply with the minimum wage rate for the effective year.