Although it is early in 2015, this is the perfect time to start planning for the 2016 increase in the California minimum wage. California increased its minimum wage in a two-step process. The first step was effective July 1, 2014 and raised the minimum wage to $9.00 in California. The minimum wage increase also increases the minimum salary for exempt status. Both of these factors can have large financial impacts for employers and the planning should begin now as the change takes effect on January 1, 2016.