Pasadena Passes Minimum Wage Law Steeper than California Minimum Wage

Pasadena Passes New Minimum Wage Ordinance


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Employment Law and Compliance

The City of Pasadena passes minimum wage ordinance that escalates the minimum wage for employees working inside the Pasadena city limits. For employers who have 26 or more employees, the new minimum wage is steeper than the California State Minimum wage law. The new law went into effect July 1, 2016, and applies to any employee who works in the City of Pasadena for 2 hours or more within a given week.

Pasadena City Minimum Wage Schedule

For employers with 26 or more employees, the new minimum wage increased to $10.50 on July 1, 2016. It increases again to $12.00 on July 1, 2017, and to $13.25 on July 1, 2018. For businesses who have less than 26 employees the schedule of the minimum wage is less steep.

The size of the business is determined by the average number of employees from the previous year. July 1, 2016, small businesses were required only to comply with the California minimum wage of $10.00 an hour. The Pasadena ordinance requires that the wage for small businesses goes up to $10.50 on July 1, 2017.

However, according to California State minimum wage laws, the new minimum wage will go up on January 1, 2017. Small businesses will want to make sure and comply with state law and increase their minimum wages in January instead of waiting until July.

July 1, 2018, Small businesses with employees in Pasadena will be required to pay a minimum wage of $12.00. This is 2 years ahead of the California state law.

Below is a schedule of the Pasadena Minimum wage law.

Effective Date 26 or more employees <26 employees California Minimum wage for 25 employees or more- Starts Jan of each year
July 1, 2016 $10.50 $10.00 $10.00
July 1, 2017 $12.00 $10.50 $10.50
July 1 2018 $13.25 $12.00 $11.00

Exceptions to the Pasadena Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for learners or minors of the age of 14-17 is to be no less than 85% of the regular minimum wage. Additionally, there is a provision for nonprofits to file a deferral application. Specific provisions apply.

1- The Chief Executive officer’s salary is capped at 5 times the wage of the lowest paid employee.

2- The employer is a transitional employer who helps a long-term unemployed individual get back into the workforce. Transitional employers have to be certified by the city.  OR

3- The employer is a child care provider OR

4- The employer is funded by City, County, State, or Federal Grants or reimbursements.

Minimum Wage Going Forward

The new ordinance calls for another vote and minimum wage to be set again in 2019 on the continuation of the minimum wage increases. If approved, the minimum wage would increase to $14.25 in 2019 and again to $15.00 in 2020.

Afterwards, it would be based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Notice and Posting Requirements

Employers are required to post the minimum wage notice posters for employees to see, Further, they are required to update the posters annually as the wage changes. Posters should be posted in a clearly visible place. Posters are available in 5 languages.

The employers must also notify every current employee and provide notice to all new employees at the time of hire. Additionally, each employee must be notified of the employer’s name, address and phone number in writing.

Record Keeping

The new ordinance requires that employers maintain records for a minimum of three years. The records should include the employee’s information, hire date, hours worked, and pay rate. They should also be easily accessible in case a dispute arises.

Additionally, the employer should be able to provide the employee a copy of the records upon reasonable request.


Individuals who violate the Pasadena law are subject to fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to 6 months in prison. Offenses are calculated on a daily basis and subject to a separate offense for each day they were out of compliance and for each person wronged.

Relief to the person negatively affected by noncompliance can include the following remedies; payment of back wages including triple back wages, reimbursement of attorneys cost, reinstatement of employment and other relief.

Let SwipeClock Help

SwipeClock is a premier provider of timekeeping and workforce management tools. Our software and tools allow you to maintain records and more easily stay in compliance with multiple city employment laws. It will also make compliance with the California Sick Leave Laws, California FMLA, and Federal Overtime Laws easier.

Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated on November 29, 2016

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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