The Federal minimum wage increased to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. However, because California’s minimum wage is $8.00 per hour, the increase in the Federal minimum wage does not affect California employers, as employers need to pay the higher of the two minimum wages.  Here is an interesting table of the history of California’s minimum wage amounts

Other notes about California minimum wage:

  • There is no tip credit allowed in California for tipped employees. Employers still must pay $8.00 per hour even for employees who receive tips while working.  Click here for a list of states that do recognize a tip credit
  • Employees cannot not waive their right to receive minimum wage (see Labor Code section 1194(a)).
  • There are a very limited number of employees who are exempt from minimum wages, such as outside salespersons or family members of the employer.
  • If an employee prevails in a lawsuit for unpaid minimum wages, he or she is also entitled to attorney’s fees as costs of the suit under Labor Code section 1194(a) (which, often times are larger than the minimum wage amounts not paid in the first place).