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Every time minimum wage increases, California employers should make changes to their payroll. If your employer fails to increase your minimum wage, you should speak with a California minimum wage lawyer. 


On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage across the state of California increased by $10,00 per hour. Minimum wage employees working for employers with more than 25 employees must now pay at least $14.00 per hour, and employers with 25 or fewer employees must pay at least $13.00 per hour. 

What happens if you received your first paycheck for work you completed in 2021 and your pay did not increase? What are your rights? You should discuss them with an experienced California minimum wage lawyer who can advise you of your options. 

Identifying Wage Violations

It is always a good idea to review the details of your paystub to make sure that everything is correct and in line with the compensation you deserve. Minimum wage laws update regularly in California, and while your employer should have been prepared for the change in 2021, some companies forget to update their systems. 

In addition, some employers might purposely fail to increase wages in hopes that employees will not notice or be aware of their rights. This is often an attempt to reduce expenditures as much as possible, especially after 2020, which was a difficult year for many businesses. However, even if a company is struggling financially, they are still required to pay minimum wage for all hours worked. 

You can look at your rate of pay and compare it with the required minimum wage under current law. You can also look for any hours worked that are not included in your paycheck. For example, if you worked 40 hours in a week, and your employer only paid you for 36 hours, this might be an attempt to offset the increased minimum wage and constitutes a wage violation. 

Taking Action for a Wage Violation

It is important to contact an experienced minimum wage attorney as soon as you realize you might have been deprived of your rightful minimum wage. An attorney can identify exactly how much your employer owes you in back pay. Sometimes, a call from an attorney can make your employer realize errors or that they forgot to update your wages, and they will voluntarily issue the payment you deserve without further legal action. 

However, some employers might deny the wage violation or simply refuse to issue payment for back wages. In this situation, an experienced attorney can help you file a claim seeking the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Our California Minimum Wage Lawyers Today

One dollar per hour might not seem like much, but it adds up quickly, and employers can owe employers hundreds or thousands of dollars in back wages for violations. At Mara Law Firm, our California minimum wage attorneys stand up for the rights of employees in many different types of wage and hour claims. Call (619) 234-2833 or contact us online to discuss your rights and options today.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney David Mara who has more than 20 years of legal experience in employment law.

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