December 14, 2021

Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect Jan. 1, 2022

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the minimum wage in California will increase to $15 per hour for large employers with 26 or more employees; it will increase to $14 for small employers with fewer than 25 employees.

The amount for small employers will increase again on Jan. 1, 2023 to $15 per hour.

State law requires that California workers be paid the minimum wage; in addition, some cities and counties have a local minimum wage that his higher than the state rate. Employers should keep this rule in mind: When faced with conflicting employment law standards, an employer must follow the standard that is most beneficial to the employee. Review the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s detailed list of local minimum wage ordinances for additional guidance.

Agricultural employers in California should also be mindful of the continued phase-in of agricultural overtime provisions. In 2016, California initiated a plan to phase-in agricultural overtime to the same basis used in most other California industries. The multi-year phase-in schedule continues in 2022 for large employers (26 or more employees).

As of Jan. 1, 2022, a large employer must pay overtime of 1.5 times the employees’ regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. This is the last phase-in for large employers. Click here for important information on calculating the regular rate of pay.

Employers are required to post information on wages, hours and working conditions at a worksite area accessible to employees. In addition, employers must ensure that the wage rate is displayed on the employee’s pay stub and that employees are paid at least the minimum wage even when employees are paid at the piece rate.

Updated wage and hour notice posters (Spanish and English) can be found on the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement website.

In other member states:

Effective Jan. 1, 2022 Arizona’s minimum wage will increase to $12.80 per hour. Generally, unless an exemption applies, an employer may not pay less than the minimum wage for all hours worked, regardless of the frequency or basis of payment (e.g., hourly, salaried, commissioned, piece rate, or any other basis). Wage rate posters much be displayed prominently in a place accessible to employees. Updated wage and hour notice posters (Spanish and English) can be found on the Industrial Commission’s Labor website.

Effective Jan. 1, 2022 Colorado’s state minimum wage will increase to $12.56. Colorado’s minimum wage increased significantly and automatically between 2017 and 2020 in connection with wage legislation passed in 2016. A new proposed rule for minimum wage (measured by the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado) is now published for public comment each September. This year’s comment period closed on November 3, 2021 establishing the new minimum wage for 2022. Cities in Colorado are empowered to establish local minimum wage rates. However, only Denver has so far established its own minimum wage.

Employers covered by COMPS Order #37 are required to post the applicable wage and hour notice poster. An updated poster can be found on the Department of Labor and Employment website. 

New Mexico
Effective Jan. 1, 2022 New Mexico’s state minimum wage will increase to $11.50 per hour. Employers will see further automatic increases through January 1, 2023. Generally, unless an exemption applies, an employer may not pay less than the minimum wage for all hours worked. New Mexico has several local city and county minimum wage requirements. Review the Department of Workforce Solutions website for a detailed list of local minimum wage ordinances. Employers in the state must also display wage and hour notice posters. Updated posters can be found on the Department’s website.

Members with questions about pending minimum wage increases should contact Western Growers.