FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #07-66
December 31, 2007

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Kate McGuire
(415) 703-5050


Department of Industrial Relations reminds employers minimum wage increases to $8 per hour on January 1

San Francisco – The Department of Industrial Relations is reminding California employers who pay workers the minimum wage that the rate increases to $8 per hour starting Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. With this increase, California’s minimum wage will be among the highest state minimum wage states 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 (Lieber), 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. The latest increase places California in the top three states with the highest minimum wage in the nation.

 “This wage increase will benefit more than1.4 million hard-working Californians,” said 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 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 http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm.

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 http://www.dir.ca.gov/wage.htm.

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