The Employer’s Guide to 2020 Minimum Wage Changes in Northern California

Napa Employment Opportunities


Another year brings another round of minimum wage increases in California. As many of us already know, SB-3, signed into law in 2016, laid out a series of changes impacting minimum wage in California to increase until we reach $15.00 an hour in January 2023.

On a state-wide level, the minimum wage requirements for January 2020 will be $12.00 an hour for companies who have 25 or fewer employees and $13.00 an hour for companies who have 26 or more employees. And that’s just state-wide. For many counties and cities, the minimum wage requirements differ.

Locally, the following cities now have a minimum wage that’s higher than the state’s requirements of $11 an hour, according to the UC Berkeley Labor Center:

+ Petaluma

+ Santa Rosa

+ Sonoma

+ Novato

For employers in these areas, read your local ordinances or county ordinances to find the minimum wage requirements you need to comply with. It’s important to note that for employers, minimum wage changes affect more than just salary—these changes impact pay practices like:

  • Overtime Pay
  • Ag Overtime
  • Exempt/Non-Exempt Employee Statuses
  • Piece-Rate Employees
  • Contract Employees
  • Meals and Lodging

Exempt employees (your salaried employees), must make, at minimum, twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Those minimum salaries will be raised by $4,160 in January 2020. For 2020, the minimum salary requirements for companies with 26 or more employees will be $54,080 and $49,920 for those with 25 or fewer employees.

For guidance on updating and changing your pay practices, use this guide from the CalChamber Employment Law Counsel.

If you’re looking to hire for 2020, you’ll want to use our compensation report tool to ensure your pay rates are competitive. Our custom compensation report provides insight to allow you to fully understand the job market in your area as it relates to your hiring strategies. Hiring the top candidates, and paying them accordingly, can make all the difference in staying competitive in your industry. And we’re here to help you do that.


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