minimum wage increase

The minimum wage in unincorporated Los Angeles County (which is separate from the one for the City of Los Angeles) will increase to $16.90/hour on July 1, 2023. If you work in the county, even if you don’t reside there, you will therefore be entitled to this rate. Your employer has the legal obligation of knowing and applying this new minimum wage. The higher rate will also affect the amount of overtime your employer must pay you. Our national network of wage and hour attorneys is here to help if you are not being paid what the law requires.

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Isn’t federal overtime lower?

Pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, the national minimum wage is $7.25/hour. However, state and local governments are allowed to set higher rates. Many, including Los Angeles County, have done that. Wherever there are two different minimum wage rates in a given location, the higher one will prevail. Since Los Angeles County has set its rate much higher than the federal rate (which has remained the same since 2009), employees working in the unincorporated county must be paid more per hour.

Anyone who works at least two hours during a one-week period within unincorporated Los Angeles County is entitled to the county minimum wage. The worker’s employment status, where they live, or where the employer is headquartered does not determine the minimum wage that applies. The number of employees who work for the employer also does not affect the rate.

There are some limited exceptions to minimum wage, but most hourly workers are entitled to it. Ask a knowledgeable attorney if your employer claims it doesn’t have to pay you the minimum wage.

How does the new rate affect overtime?

Overtime pay applies once an employer exceeds 40 hours of work in a given week. For each hour over 40, the employee must be paid 1.5 times his or her regular (or straight-time) rate of pay. It is for this reason that overtime is also called time and a half. After July 1, 2023, employees who have worked overtime in Los Angeles County must be paid at least 1.5 times the minimum wage for those hours, or $25.35/hour.

But California has even more pro-employee overtime rules compared to most of the country. In addition to weekly overtime as described above, an employee who works over 8 hours in a single day must be paid 1.5 times his or her regular hourly rate for those hours. These are some other California overtime rules:

  • The first 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day worked must be paid at 1.5 times the regular pay rate
  • Any work in excess of 12 hours per day must be paid at 2 times the regular rate
  • Any work in excess of 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day must be paid at 2 times the regular rate

As with minimum wage, some employees are exempt from overtime rules. Check with a lawyer if you aren’t sure whether your employer is paying the amount required by law.

What To Do If You Aren’t Being Paid Fairly

Employers use a number of tactics to try to cheat their workers out of their minimum wage and overtime rights. Intentionally misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor, incorrectly applying for an exemption, and requiring employees to do “off-the-clock” work are just a few examples. The Lore Law Firm can assist if you aren’t being paid what you deserve. Reach out to us today by completing our free and confidential online client intake form.

Michael Lore is the founder of The Lore Law Firm. For over 25 years, his law practice and experience extend from representing individuals in all aspects of labor & employment law, with a concentration in class and collective actions seeking to recover unpaid back overtime wages, to matters involving executive severance negotiations, non-compete provisions and serious personal injury (work and non-work related). He has handled matters both in the state and federal courts nationwide as well as via related administrative agencies. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Michael by using our chat functionality.