December 5, 2017

State Minimum Wages to Increase Jan. 1, 2018

Legislation has been passed that will affect employers in California, Arizona and Colorado. Below is a breakdown of how the minimum wage laws will affect all Western Growers members.


In 2016, SB 3 was signed to gradually increase the minimum wage in California to $15 per hour by 2022. Beginning January 1, 2018, employers with 26 or more employees will be required to pay non-overtime-exempt employees $11.00 per hour while businesses with 25 or fewer employees will have to pay their non-exempt employees $10.50 per hour.

The increased minimum wage rate also impacts the salary thresholds for exempt executives, administrators and professionals under California law, increasing it to $45,760 annually for employers with at least 26 employees, and $43,680 for employers with 25 or fewer employees. Employers should also be aware that a number of cities, such as San Francisco, Emeryville and Oakland, have higher minimum wage rates than the state.


Under Proposition 206, the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, Arizona’s minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour on January 1, 2018; $11.00 per hour in 2019; and $12.00 per hour in 2020. In 2021, the Arizona minimum wage will increase each year by the cost of living.


With the passage of Amendment 70, effective January 1, 2017, Colorado’s minimum wage had been increased to $9.30 per hour and is increased annually by $0.90 each January 1 until it reaches $12 per hour effective January 2020. Thereafter, it will be adjusted annually for cost of living increases, as measured by the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado.  For 2018, the minimum wage in Colorado is $10.20.

New Mexico

The minimum wage in New Mexico remains $7.50 per hour, which is greater than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Some cities and municipalities in New Mexico have established their own minimum wage rates, including:

  • Albuquerque: $8.75
  • Bernalillo County: $8.65
  • Santa Fe: $10.84
  • Santa Fe County: $10.66
  • Las Cruces: currently $9.20 to increase to $10.10 on January 1, 2019.