California Health Sector Salaries: What’s New This 2024?

As we embark on a new year, the landscape of California’s health sector is witnessing significant shifts, and the ramifications extend beyond hospital corridors. The intricate web of regulations governing health sector salaries is under constant scrutiny and adaptation, reflecting the dynamic nature of the industry. In the ever-evolving realm of quality health care, understanding the current state of salaries is not merely a matter of curiosity but a crucial consideration for professionals, employers, and policymakers alike.

As we delve into the intricacies of the California health sector salaries in 2024, it is imperative to grasp the broader context of an industry that plays a pivotal role in the well-being of millions. Recent data indicates that the health sector continues to be a major driver of the state’s economy, employing 2.5 million workers in our state. That means the healthcare and social assistance sector accounted for over 13% of the state’s total employment as of 2023.

This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the key factors influencing primary care provider’s salaries this year, offering insights that will prove invaluable to both employers and employees in this critical industry. In particular, we will discuss:

  • California health sector facilities implementing new salaries
  • Healthcare workers eligible for the salary increase in 2024
  • The importance of keeping updated on salary trends

California Health Sector Facilities Implementing New Salaries

On October 13, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom officially endorsed California Senate Bill 525 (CA SB 525), ushering in a transformative era for healthcare workers’ minimum wage. This landmark legislation significantly influences a broad spectrum of California healthcare employees and facilities, instituting a revised minimum wage benchmark of $25 per hour, far above the national average. 

Commencing on June 1, 2024, this adjustment is poised to elevate wages by up to 30%, signifying a substantial and impactful change for a wide range of healthcare workers across the state.

SB 525 casts a broad net, encompassing virtually all healthcare facilities in operation across California. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Facilities or work sites integrated into healthcare delivery systems
  • Licensed general acute care hospitals, including rural general acute care hospitals
  • Licensed acute psychiatric hospitals, along with their distinct parts
  • Special hospitals
  • Licensed skilled nursing facilities, including small house skilled nursing facilities
  • Patients’ homes when healthcare services are provided by an entity owned or operated by a general acute care hospital or acute psychiatric hospital
  • Licensed home health agencies
  • Clinics encompassing specialty care, dialysis, surgical, rehabilitation, chronic illnesses, or alternative birth centers
  • Psychology clinics
  • Licensed residential care facilities for the elderly affiliated with an acute care provider or owned, operated, or controlled by a general acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital, or their parent entity
  • Psychiatric health facilities
  • Mental health rehabilitation centers
  • Rural health clinics and similar affordable health care options
  • Urgent care clinics, providing immediate, non emergency ambulatory medical care
  • Ambulatory surgical centers certified to participate in the Medicare Program
  • Physician groups, in academic health centers, comprising medical group practices, professional medical corporations, other physician-controlled corporations, or medical partnerships with a total of 25 or more physicians
  • County correctional facilities offering healthcare services
  • County mental health facilities

As the state anticipates the implementation of the revised minimum wage, the healthcare sector must adapt to these transformative changes. SB 525 not only signifies a crucial step in bolstering the financial well-being of healthcare professionals but also reinforces the state’s commitment to implement comprehensive health reforms for its workers. This legislation paves the way for an equitable and improved future for those tirelessly serving on the frontlines of healthcare across California.

California health

Healthcare Workers Eligible for a Salary Increase in 2024

The upcoming minimum wage standards will be mandatory for nearly all healthcare employers, with specific exceptions for hospitals under the jurisdiction of the California Department of State Hospitals, tribal clinics exempt from licensure, and outpatient settings operated by tribal organizations. 

Moreover, this legislation places constraints on healthcare employers seeking exemptions from overtime pay, minimum wage requirements and healthcare careers salaries in California. To be exempt from the new minimum wage and overtime provisions, employers must ensure that salaried employees receive a monthly salary equivalent to no less than 150% of the healthcare worker minimum wage or 200% of the applicable minimum wage, whichever figure is higher, for full-time employment. SB 525 encompasses various categories of workers within the healthcare sector, with eligibility requirements applying to:

  • Employees of healthcare facility employers engaged in patient care, healthcare services, or activities supporting healthcare provision.
  • Subcontracted employees under the following conditions:
  1. The employer holds a contract with the healthcare contractor/subcontractor for supporting services.
  2. The healthcare facility employer, directly or indirectly or through an agent, exercises control over the employee’s wages, hours, or working conditions.
  3. All employees primarily engaged in contracted or subcontracted work on the premises of a covered healthcare facility, providing supporting healthcare services.

The scope of covered occupations is extensive and includes all levels of experience in health care, including roles such as nurse, physician, caregiver, medical resident, intern or fellow, patient care technician, janitor, housekeeping staff, groundskeeper, guard, clerical worker, non-managerial administrative worker, food service worker, gift shop worker, technical and ancillary services worker, billing personnel, scheduler, call center and warehouse worker, and laundry worker—regardless of their formal job title or agreement between hospitals.

However, specific exemptions are outlined in the legislation. SB 525 does not apply to:

  • Employment as an outside salesperson.
  • Work conducted in the public sector where the primary duties do not involve healthcare services.
  • Delivery or waste collection work on the premises of a covered healthcare facility, provided the worker is not employed by anyone owning, controlling, or operating the facility.
  • Medical transportation services in or out of a covered healthcare facility, provided the medical transportation services worker is not an employee of anyone owning, controlling, or operating the facility.

The Importance of Keeping Updated in Salary Trends

Staying updated on salary trends in the healthcare industry is of paramount importance for various stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, employers, policymakers, and even patients. The dynamic nature of the healthcare landscape, combined with evolving economic and regulatory factors, underscores the significance of regular updates on compensation trends. Here are key reasons why staying informed about salary trends in the healthcare industry is crucial for American families:

Competitive Recruitment and Retention

By staying abreast of salary trends, employers can ensure that their compensation packages remain competitive, attracting top talent and reducing the risk of employee turnover. 

Workforce Satisfaction and Engagement

Healthcare professionals who feel adequately compensated are likely to be more motivated, committed, and focused on delivering quality patient care. This, in turn, contributes to a positive work environment and patient outcomes.

Compliance with Regulations

Healthcare is subject to a myriad of state and federal regulations, including those governing health plans, and wage laws. Keeping up with salary trends ensures that healthcare organizations remain compliant with the latest regulations, avoiding legal pitfalls and potential financial liabilities associated with non-compliance.

Addressing Health Coverage Disparities

By identifying and rectifying wage gaps, the industry can work towards achieving greater equity in compensation, which is essential for fostering diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunities within the healthcare workforce.

Enhancing Employee Well-being

Adequate compensation reflects recognition of the demanding nature of healthcare professions, contributing to reduced stress and improved job satisfaction. This, in turn, positively impacts the mental health and overall job performance of healthcare workers.

Get the Worth of Your Work

In 2024, the California health sector underwent transformative changes, notably spurred by the enactment of Senate Bill 525. The impending mandatory minimum wage standards pose challenges and opportunities for healthcare employers, with specific exemptions and constraints outlined in the legislation. Stakeholders must remain well-informed about these changes, as employee well-being stands as the cornerstone of delivering quality healthcare.

The dynamic nature of healthcare costs in the industry, in conjunction with economic and regulatory factors, highlights the necessity of consistently updating salary trends. This is crucial not only for competitive recruitment and retention but also for fostering workforce satisfaction and engagement, ensuring compliance with regulations, addressing healthcare disparities, and promoting the overall well-being of healthcare professionals. Additionally, considering the intricate landscape of wage regulations, it is strongly advised for both employers and employees to have legal representation. This becomes particularly significant in the event of a wage dispute, ensuring a fair and just resolution while safeguarding the rights and interests of all parties involved. A labor law attorney can play a crucial role in navigating the complexities of evolving legislation and promoting a harmonious work environment within California’s dynamic healthcare sector.


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By submitting this form, I consent to receiving text messages and emails from Labor Law Advocates. I also acknowledge that contacting Labor Law Advocates through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by the attorney-client privilege.