New Year will bring minimum wage hikes to West Contra Costa


By Kathy Chouteau

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the cities of Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Pinole and Hercules will all increase their minimum wages.

First, let’s take a look at the state. On Jan. 1, California will be increasing the statewide hourly minimum wage from $13 (for businesses with 26 employees or more) and $12 (for businesses with 25 or less employees) to $14 and $13 respectively.

According to the state’s website, most California employers are subject to both federal and state minimum wage laws—however, as in West Contra Costa County—local cities and counties may also enact their own minimum wage rates. The state has initiated plans to increase the minimum wage annually by $1 per hour until it reaches $15 per hour in 2023.

“The effect of this multiple coverage by different government sources is that when there are conflicting requirements in the laws, the employer must follow the stricter standard; that is, the one that is the most beneficial to the employee,” according to state officials. Also, there is no distinction between adults and minors regarding minimum wage in California.

Here’s the rundown on the minimum wage increases happening in West Contra Costa County in 2021:

Richmond: Increasing from $15/hour to $15.21/hour.

El Cerrito: Increasing from $15.37/hour to $15.61/hour.

Hercules: Does not mandate a minimum wage (see state info above).

San Pablo, Pinole & Contra Costa County: Follow the state’s minimum wage directive (see above).

Learn more about California’s statewide mandate for minimum wage here.