As of July 1, 2014, California’s Minimum Wage Rate will increase to $9.00 per hour. A year and a half after that, on January 1, 2016, it will rise again to $10 per hour. Although California still won’t have the highest state minimum wage in the U.S. (Washington’s minimum wage currently is $9.32 per hour), it is well above the current federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

The impact of these increases on employment litigation should not be overlooked. The state’s minimum wage affects a plethora of other wage and hour laws. For example, all of California’s so-called white collar exemptions require that an employee be paid a  fixed monthly salary that is equivalent to at least two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.  Split shift premiums for employees also are tied to the minimum wage.