May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019

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Governor Brown Raises the Minimum Wage to $15.00 per Hour, Despite Strong Employer Opposition

California’s unfriendly business environment took another unprecedented step this week, with Governor Jerry Brown raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2022.  Governor Brown signed SB 3 into law on April 4, 2016. 

The new law annually increases the state minimum wage starting January 2017.  California’s minimum wage currently is $10.00 per hour.  California employers opposed the bill arguing the minimum wage increases will make it even more difficult for in-state producers to compete with out-of-state employers; employer advocacy groups also argued the bill will result in more employers leaving the state. 

Under the new law, the minimum wage for employers with 26 or more employees will increase as follows:

$10.50 per hour as of January 1, 2017

$11.00 per hour as of January 1, 2018

$12.00 per hour as of January 1, 2019

$13.00 per hour as of January 1, 2020

$14.00 per hour as of January 1, 2021

$15.00 per hour as of January 1, 2022 

The increase to $15.00 per hour is more gradual for employers with 25 or fewer employees; minimum wage increases for the smaller employers will begin a year later, starting January 1, 2018.  The law permits the Governor to temporarily suspend the minimum wage increase no more than two times based on the health of California’s general economy or state budget.  Once the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour, the minimum wage rate will be adjusted annually.  

The new law also threw in paid sick leave to in-home supportive services employees beginning July, 1 2018.  The sick leave entitlement will provide up to one day of leave per year, and increase over time to three days per year.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019


About this Author

Conor Dale, Jackson Lewis, Labor discrimination claims attorney, breach of contracts lawyer

Conor Dale is an Associate in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has experience representing employers in state and federal employment litigation including wage and hour matters, discrimination claims, breach of employment contracts, and unfair competition claims.

Additionally, Mr. Dale has represented employers in front of numerous state and federal administrative agencies including the federal Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair...


Evan D. Beecher is an Associate in the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents management in all types of employment disputes including harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination cases in both state and federal court as well as in arbitration and administrative hearings.

Cary G Palmer, Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Office Managing Principal

Cary G. Palmer is Office Managing Principal of the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents management in employment, labor and benefits law and related litigation.

Mr. Palmer practices before the state and federal courts in California, the United States Department of Labor, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Mr. Palmer also defends management in statewide...