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Minimum wage laws in California

Employers in California are required by state law to pay their workers a defined minimum wage. This amount varies a bit depending on the type of employee, the number of employees a company has and workers who are disabled.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the federal government establishes requirements in regard to minimum wage and other employment standards such as recordkeeping and overtime pay. Individual states can choose to use these standards or set their own minimum wage laws, as long as the amount is higher than the federal wage. California is one of the states that chooses to set the minimum pay at a higher level.

According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, the majority of employees can expect the minimum wage to increase every year, which can be suspended temporarily by the state's governor. Wages paid for employees who work for companies with 25 or fewer employees are paid slightly less than businesses with more than 25 workers. While most can take advantage of these state minimums, there are a few exceptions.

Employees who are employed in a new occupation in which they have no previous experience can be paid up to 15 percent less than the minimum wage for the first 160 hours of work. Those who are employed by certain nonprofit organizations, and workers with physical or mental disabilities can be paid less than the minimum. Other exemptions in regard to minimum wage laws include apprentices, immediate family members of the employer and people who work in outside sales.  

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