Does my employer have to pay the minimum wage?
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Does my employer have to pay the minimum wage?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2021 | Firm News |

Minimum wage is a complicated idea because it does not apply in all situations. It is supposed to be the lowest hourly amount an employer can pay you, but with exceptions, that is not always true.

The California Department of Industrial Relations explains the good news is the minimum wage law applies to most employers in the state. The exceptions are few, so it is likely your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage, which will increase to $15 an hour by 2023.

Number of employees

The minimum wage law only applies to all employers, not exempt, but those with 25 or fewer employees have a lower rate. The increase is slower for smaller employers. Employers with over 25 employees will reach the $15 minimum wage before 2023.


Some of the common exemptions to the minimum wage law include relatives of an employer, apprentices and outside salespersons. Sheepherders have separate wage laws as well. There may be other types of employment that allow for lower pay. Do keep in mind, independent contractors are also exempt because they are not employees.

There is no exception based on age. Employers must pay adults and minors at least the minimum wage.

Unlike other states, California law does not allow employers to use tips to offset wages. Tipped employees must receive at least minimum wage in base pay from the employer.

California wage laws are some of the strictest in the nation. You have the right to report your employer if he or she refuses to pay you the correct amount.