If you are trying to work to earn a living, the last thing that will help you is getting paid less than you deserve. In California, all employees have to be paid the minimum wage (with some minor exceptions).
The minimum wage can vary across the state, but unless a worker falls into one of a few very specific categories, they must be paid at least $14 an hour if they work for a company with 25 employees or fewer and $15 an hour when working for a company with 26 employees or more. In January 2023, the minimum wage will go up to $15.00 across the board.
Why should you fight for fair compensation from your employer?
$15 is largely hailed as the minimum someone could earn and be making a living wage. In California, that’s not always the case, as prices are high and expenses can quickly outpace wages. The minimum wage is there to help protect you against working long hours without the opportunity to support yourself. If your employer is not paying what they owe, stealing time from you or simply refusing to pay a fair wage, you can look into making a claim.
Does everyone get the same minimum wage?
The minimum wage can vary across industries, in some cases, which is another thing to keep in mind. For example, sheepherders are a group of workers with a minimum monthly salary of $2,488.97 if they work an employer with 26 or more employees. It’s $2,311.24 if it’s an employer with fewer.
Can your wages be offset by meals or lodging?
Sometimes, but not always. For example, the law does not allow meals or lodging to offset wages for sheepherders, but it may allow it for other kinds of workers in the state, which is something to clarify with your employer when you are hired.
Local, state and federal minimum wages protect you
There are different minimum wages all designed to protect you. Some cities offer higher minimum wages than others, so it’s possible that the state’s $15 minimum won’t be enough based on your local rules. Keep this in mind as you look into making your case.