Early 2021 Minimum Wage Rates for California Cities

By Kris Janisch
Published Dec. 9, 2020

2021 Minimum Wage California Cities

In California, more than 20 cities will implement minimum wage increases at the start of 2021.

What are the early 2021 minimum wage rates for California cities?

With its progressive culture toward employment law, California is always a state to keep an eye on for employers. At the beginning of the new year, more than 20 cities in the Golden State will increase minimum wage.

Related: Early 2021 State Minimum Wage Rates

Minimum Wage in California Cities

California’s employee-friendly laws create a complex web for employers to track.

But one thing is clear: minimum wage is high in California. In addition to a state rate that will soon reach $15, several cities have already surpassed that figure.

Other items to note for employers before we run down the early 2021 minimum wage for California cities:

  • New cities are on this year’s list
  • Most will require an updated labor law posting
  • California law does not permit different minimum wage for employees who receive tips
  • Several other cities will implement new minimum wage rates during the summer of 2021

Early 2021 Minimum Wage Rates

Some cities in California have planned increases; others will go up based on the Consumer Price Index. Employers should audit their California locations to ensure they are paying the correct rate.

The increases listed below are in effect as of Jan. 1, 2021.


  • $15.90


  • $15


  • $15.65

Daly City

  • $15

East Palo Alto

  • $15

El Cerrito

  • $15.61

Half Moon Bay

  • $15

2021 Minimum Wage ratesLos Altos

  • $15.65

Menlo Park

  • $15.25

Mountain View

  • $16.30


New for 2021, Novato, Calif., has three separate rates for its minimum wage based on employer size:

  • $15.24 (very large, 100 or more employees)
  • $15 (large, 26-99 employees)
  • $14 (small, one to 25 employees)


  • $14.36

Palo Alto

  • $15.65


  • $15.20

The city has done away with having separate rates based on employer size.

Redwood City

  • $15.62


  • $15.21

San Carlos

  • $15.24

San Diego

  • $14

San Jose

  • $15.45

San Mateo

  • $15.62

Santa Clara

  • $15.65

Santa Rosa

  • $15.20


Sonoma, Calif., has two separate rates based on company size:

  • $15 (large, 26 or more employees)
  • $14 (small, 25 or fewer employees)

South San Francisco

  • $15.24


  • $16.30


As seen here, California is a national leader in minimum wage rates, with many meeting or exceeding $15 an hour. It’s especially noteworthy because the federal minimum wage, $7.25, has not increased since 2009.

While California is known for its high wage rates, other jurisdictions across the U.S. will implement increased minimum wage at the start of 2021. Employers should review their locations to ensure they are remaining compliant.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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