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Minimum Wage in the Many 'States' of California

Once upon a time, employers could determine the minimum wage they needed to pay their employees by looking to the single state in which they conducted business. No more.

For employers in California, the minimum wage varies not just by state, but by county and municipality. Where you locate your business can literally vary your employees’ salaries by up to $2 an hour. For example, locate your business in Emeryville, and you have to pay a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour, but move across the street to Oakland, and the minimum wage drops to just $13.23.

To help you gauge what you need to pay your California employees in 2018, the chart below shows the differences in minimum wage in those municipalities and counties that require a minimum wage higher than California’s statewide $10.50 per hour. Note the minimum wage varies by number of employees and, in some instances, the industry in which they work.


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