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California Minimum Wages

State Law (SB-3, Leno) and Local Ordinances

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

March 4, 2019

Beginning Jan. 2017, SB 3 (Leno, D-San Francisco) imposed a series of increases in California's minimum wage, ultimately resulting in a minimum wage of  $15 per hour for employers of 26 or more employees on Jan. 1, 2022 and for employers of 25 or fewer on Jan. 1, 2023.  Numerous California cities and counties have adopted their own minimum wage requirements that differ from the state minimum wage, higher in some cases, or increasing at a different rate than the state minimum wage, or that may soon be overtaken by upcoming hikes in the state minimum wage.

Some FELS Newsletter subscribers operate in cities or counties with their own minimum wage laws or ordinances. Other subscribers have employees, such as drivers, who work for limited times in an adjacent locality with a minimum wage requirement that differs from the statwide requirement. Some impose employee informational posting requirements; some do not.  Does state minimum wage law pre-empt these ordinances? If not, how do I know if they apply to my company?

Unfortunately the state law does not supersede a county or municipal law or ordinance setting a higher minimum wage, and thus you need to check the ordinance to see if and when it applies to your employees. For example, readers in Southern California may be affected by the minimum wage ordinance adopted by the City of Los Angeles. Los Angeles' minimum wage law covers employees, regardless of their employer’s business location, who perform at least two hours of work in a week within the city.

If your company is located in or near a county or city with its own minimum wage ordinance, or if any of your employees work in such a locality (even if only traveling through it), examine the ordinance to see if it covers your company or any of its employees. Above all, don’t assume state law supersedes or invalidates an ordinance.

Below are links to information about the California minimum wage and the California cities and counties that impose minimum wages that are different from the State of California:

State of California (SB-3)





El Cerrito


Los Altos

Los Angeles

Los Angeles County



Mountain View


Palo Alto


Redwood City



San Diego

San Francicso

San Jose

San Leandro

San Mateo

Santa Clara

Santa Monica