California 2021 Minimum Wage and Minimum Salary Threshold Changes

Los Angeles- Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for California employers with 25 or fewer employees increases to $13.00 per hour. The minimum wage for California employers with 26 or more employees increases to $14.00 per hour.  In addition, please see the list below of local cities with minimum wage increases effective 1/1/21.

Most of these local ordinances state that this is required for any employee who works at least two hours in one calendar week within the geographic boundaries of their city to be paid at the local minimum wage rate.

Remember potential changes due to Covid:

  1. If your employees have switched to working from home due to Covid, you will need to pay attention to the local minimum wage requirements for where their work is being performed.
  2. If you had an employee classified as Exempt because they were an Outside Sales Representative, and they are working from home now, no longer spending at least half of their times out visiting potential clients- they are no longer considered Outside sales and would likely lose their exemption.

For white-collar exempt employees, earnings must be equal or greater than double the state’s minimum wage.  On 1/1/2021, the minimum annual salary requirement for white-collar exemptions will also increase as follows:

  • 25 or fewer employees – $54,080
  • 26 or more Employees – $58,240
  • For the computer software employees’ exemption: rate of pay increases to $47.48/hourly; $8242.32 monthly, $98,907.70/annually.
  • For the licensed physician and surgeon exemption: the minimum hourly pay increases to $84.79.

The applicable local minimum wage posters are available on their respective city websites- which can be accessed by selecting the appropriate city link below. Employers must post where information is accessible to all employees. Or if working from home, you may provide electronically.


California (25 or fewer employees): $13.00
California (26 or more employees): $14.00

Belmont, CA – $15.90
Burlingame, CA – $15.00
Cupertino, CA – $15.65
Daly City, CA – $15.00
El Cerrito, CA – $15.61
Half Moon Bay – $15.00
Hayward (25 or fewer employees) – $14.00
Hayward (26 or more employees) – $15.00
Los Altos, CA – $15.65
Menlo Park – $15.25
Mountain View, CA – $16.30
Novato, CA (25 or fewer employees) – $14.00
Novato, CA (26-99 employees) – $15.00
Novato, CA (100 or more employees) – $15.24
Oakland, CA – $14.36
Palo Alto, CA – $15.65
Petaluma, CA – $15.20
Redwood City, CA – $15.62
Richmond, CA – $15.21
San Carlos, CA – $15.24
San Diego, CA (city) – $14.00
San Jose, CA – $15.45
San Mateo, CA (city) – $15.62
Santa Clara, CA – $15.65
Santa Rosa, CA – $15.20
Sonoma, CA (City) (25 or fewer employees) – $14.00
Sonoma, CA (26 or more employees) – $15.00
South San Francisco, CA – $15.24
Sunnyvale, CA – $16.30

Law Offices of Paul P. Cheng & Associates provides California businesses with summaries of some of the most critical legislation to ensure they stay in compliance while working to serve their communities. Please contact their COVID-19 Legal Task Force at 626.356.8880 or info@pprclaw.com with any questions regarding state-specific guidance or application to your workplace. 

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