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New wage law takes effect in California this week

With 2017 finally here, there are a number of changes within California law that will take effect. For employers and employees, arguably the most important legal change has to do with the new minimum wage requirements.

Essentially, California law requires incremental increases for the state minimum wage for non-exempt employees. Beginning January 1, employers with 26 or more employees must pay workers at least $10.50 per hour. The law also calls for annual increases until 2022. 

For exempt (better known as “salaried”) employees, the minimum salary is $843.00 per week, which rounds out to about $44,000 per year. California law also calls for annual increases for salaried employees. By 2022, the minimum salary will increase to $62,400.

Employers and employees alike should be aware that the federal salary threshold for exempt employees is still higher than the California minimum salary. So employers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay salaried employees at least $47,476. This will set the minimum standard for exempt employees until the state minimum wage exceeds it.

Of course, employees may not know whether these changes will apply to them, and some employers are not inclined to inform them. However, if an employer is breaking the law, employees should be properly compensated. An employee harmed by not being paid properly is entitled to damages.

So if you have questions regarding whether you are being paid a fair wage under California law, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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