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Minimum wage going up in California

The minimum wage is going to increase in California starting on Jan. 1, 2019. On that date, employers that have 26 or more employees will be required to pay workers no less than $12 per hour. Smaller companies will be required to pay workers at least $11 per hour. Eventually, the minimum wage in the state will rise to $15 per hour. Large companies will need to reach that threshold by 2022.

Smaller companies will need to do so by 2023, and the minimum wage will increase by $1 per hour each year until then. However, the minimum wage hike could be postponed if economic conditions warrant it, and the same could be true if budgetary concerns arise. In the meantime, it is possible that workers in certain cities throughout the state could be subject to a higher minimum wage. Anyone who is not paid the proper minimum wage is encouraged to contact the Labor Commissioner's Office.

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) can investigate working condition and retaliation claims on behalf of employees. Employers are required to disclose information about minimum wage and other working conditions in both English and Spanish. This information must be posted in an area where employees can see it, and it may also be possible to download facts about local and state labor laws online.

The failure to compensate a worker could have negative implications for both the employee and the employer. An employee may have trouble paying bills or providing for dependents at home. Workers may also suffer from lower morale and the mental and physical health issues that can come from that. If a wage and hour claim is successful, employers may be required to provide unpaid wages as well as pay interest on an unpaid balance.

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