Minimum wages change July 1

Minimum wages change July 1

In most of California, minimum wage rises to $10.50 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees (the increase happens July 1, 2018 for “small” employers).

NOTE: "Number of Employees" is inclusive of all full- and part-time employees.

However, a number of cities have different minimum wages:

  • Emeryville: more than 25 employees, $15.20 per hour; all other employers, $14 per hour
  • Mlpitas: all employers, $11 per hour
  • San Francisco: all employers, $14 per hour
  • San Jose and San Leandro: all employers, $12 per hourLos Angeles, Malibu, Pasadena, Santa Monica: employers with more than 25 employees, $12 per hour; all other employers, $10.50 per hour
  • Unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County: employers with more than 25 employees, $12 per hour; all other employers, $10.50 per hour

Other important information:

Churches are NOT exempt from minimum wage law in California. Paying a church employee a regular salary rather than an hourly wage does NOT, by itself, exempt the employee from overtime wages. Church employees are not EXEMPT from overtime for hours worked in excess of eight in one day or 40 in one week if they earn less than $43,680 (employers with more than 25 employees) or $41,600 (25 employees or fewer). [These wage amounts took effect January 1, 2017 and will increase again January 1, 2018.] Overtime wages are paid at time-and-one-half for all overtime hours worked up to 12 in one work day; the overtime rate changes to double-time after 12 hours. For employees who have worked more than 40 hours in a single work week, all hours worked on a seventh consecutive day in the same work week must be paid at double-time.

Employees are entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break in each four-hour period of work. Employees who work more than five hours in one day are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break. An employee who is prevented from taking a rest break or meal break (because they cannot leave their workplace or must remain "on call" during the break) is entitled to a penalty payment of one-hour regular wage for each missed break period.

An exception exists for certain "ministerial" employees, such as pastors and other licensed or ordained ministers. Giving an employee a title such as "Minister of Housekeeping," "Minister of Landscaping" or "Minister of Administration" will not exempt an employee from overtime wages if those employees are actually janitors, gardeners or clerical workers who are not required to be ordained to perform their work. Salaried employees have an hourly wage: the weekly wage paid to the employee divided by the customary number of hours worked per week (employees paid two or more different rates of pay must be paid overtime at a rate based on their "average hourly wage").

Churches must not misclassify employees as "volunteers" or "independent contractors." A church may not pay regular wages to an employee, then consider the same employee an "independent contractor" or "volunteer" for performing the same essential duties outside normal working hours, such as paying a full-time custodian Monday through Friday, and having that person clean up the church on Saturday evening following a wedding or other facility use as a volunteer, or paid as an independent contractor as a way to avoid paying overtime wages. Although overtime work is usually optional, employees can be compelled to work overtime if they have not worked more than 72 hours in the same workweek.

For more information or guidance, contact Max Herr, Ministry Specialist for Human Resources and Church Compliance.

This Convention serves our culturally diverse congregations as we fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.