IR #07-59
December 6, 2007

Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050

California's minimum wage set to increase to $8 per hour with New Year

San francisco - California workers who earn the minimum wage will see their pay increase to $8 per hour starting, Jan. 1, 2008. California will be among the highest minimum wage in the nation, tied with Massachusetts and second behind Washington's $8.07.

The increased minimum wage was approved by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 12, 2006 when he signed into law Assembly bill 1835, which increases the minimum wage in two phases. In the first phase, the minimum wage jumped from $6.75 to $7.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2007. In the second phase, the minimum wage increases to $8 per hour on Jan. 1, 2008.

“This wage increase will benefit more than 1.4 million hard-working Californians,” said Department of Industrial Relations Director John Duncan.  “With this increase, we are demonstrating the value we attach to the work these employees provide to our state and its dynamic economy.”

Employers must pay their workers the new minimum wage rate for work performed on and after the effective date of the wage rate increase. Work performed prior to the effective date is paid at the previous rate.

The minimum wage increase also affects the hourly base rate of pay for computer software employees who are considered exempt. This base rate of pay is one factor to be used by an employer when determining whether or not their computer software employees are exempt from overtime. The hourly base rate effective Jan. 1, 2008 will be $36.

To provide employers and employees with information on the changes in the minimum wage, the Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) will provide a toll-free phone line with a recorded message summarizing these changes. The number is 1-888-ASK-WAGE (1-888-275-9243) and the message is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Employees not paid the new wage beginning Jan. 1, 2008 may contact the DLSE to file a wage claim. For information on how to file a wage claim, please visit our web site at

For more information on the minimum wage and to receive copies of the new official minimum wage notice and Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders visit our web site at