California’s Minimum Wage Rate

Coffee Talk is a regular feature of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. We ask a short question related to an upcoming theme and responses are then published in the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine.
This month we ask, Do you agree with the State of California’s
minimum wage rate? Why or why not?


The current California state minimum wage of $10.50 per hour is effective from January 2017 for employers in California with 26 or more employees. Employers with 25 or fewer employees have a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. (California’s minimum wage rate is linked to a Customer Price Index, which is intended to raise the rate along with inflation. The current minimum wage rate is re-evaluated yearly based on these values.

“The minimum wage should be higher in California. A minimum wage increase arguably reduces employee turnover, which reduces employers’ costs, and it increases worker purchasing power, which stimulates consumer demand, further the increased income helps support the health and welfare of a family as well. These are just some of the positive effects of a higher minimum wage which ultimately impact a community at large which offset alleged negative effects of an increased minimum wage.”

Beth W. Mora
Mora Employment Law

“I am a very small outfit, with two part-time, hourly employees (and five contract employees). Both of my hourly staff are paid more than the minimum wage. One can’t live in the Bay Area with less.”

Michael Herwood

“Working Californians deserve a living wage – one that allows them to support themselves. The federal minimum wage is far too low. It has not kept up with inflation in recent years. California’s minimum wage is better. But, with the high cost of living, particularly in the Bay Area, $10.00-$10.50 per hour is still inadequate. And with 70% of our economy dependent on consumer spending, a living wage is good for business, too, because it helps to maintain the consumer spending necessary for our state’s economy to thrive.”

Steven F. Lincoln
Brown Gee & Wenger LLP