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There are different minimum wage rates set by different government entities. If you can believe it, the federal minimum wage rate has not been adjusted for inflation since 2009. Currently, that supposedly livable wage is just $7.25/hour. The good news is that both states and cities can set their minimum wage standards that are higher than the federal mandate. The State of California and various cities do just that, and our employment lawyers protect minimum wage rights across the state. 

The California Minimum Wage

Half of the states in the U.S. are raising their minimum wages rates in 2022, and California is one of them. After this year’s boost to $15.00/hour, California will have the highest minimum wage rate of any state (although the District of Columbia’s is highest at $15.20/hour). This rate of pay only applies, however, to California companies with 26+ employees. Smaller Golden State companies with 25 or fewer employees will only be required to pay $14/hour.

Learn more: Minimum wage increase in California 2022

Effective January 1, 2022

In 2020, San Diego’s minimum wage was $13/hour. In 2021, it was $14/hour. As of January 1, 2022, all San Diegans, regardless of the size of their employer’s company, have the right to earn at least $15/hour. There are over 15 California cities paying a higher minimum wage rate than America’s finest city.

Tipped Employees

The federal government defines a tipped employee as anyone regularly receiving at least $30/month in tips. While the federal government does allow employers to count tips towards your wage, the State of California does not allow that. In other words, federal minimum wage requirements require an employer to pay $7.25/hour. If an employee regularly and customarily receives tips, federal mandates require the employer to pay a minimum wage of just $2.13/hour. In San Diego and anywhere in California, tipped employees are allowed to earn at least full minimum wage and keep their tips on top of that.

Note that it is against the law for the owner, supervisor, or manager to ask you for all or part of your tips. Tip pooling is legal, though, if it is done correctly. Legal tip pooling may not include cooks, dishwashers, or cashiers. Managers and supervisors who do help in the “chain of service” are not allowed to participate in tip pools either.

Learn more: Who is protected under California Minimum Wage Laws?

Minimum Overtime Wage in San Diego 2022

If you work more than 40 hours in seven consecutive workdays, then you are entitled to overtime pay. The minimum overtime wage set by the State of California is 1.5x the regular hourly wage (also referred to as “time and a half”). Californians who work more than 15 hours in one 24-hour period are also entitled to the overtime rate, regardless of how many weekly hours they’ve put in. Executives, administrators, professionals, and outside salespeople do not qualify to receive overtime pay. San Diego uses the state’s overtime standards. That means as of January 1, 2022, the minimum overtime wage in San Diego is $22.50/hour.

Learn more: How to calculate your overtime rate?

Looking for a California Minimum Wage Attorney?

Labor laws can be very confusing. Mara Law Firm, a team of San Diego labor law attorneys, is happy to provide free legal advice if you feel your employer has shorted you on your pay. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get more information.

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