The law in CA only requires employers to pay exempt employees a minimum salary of $800 a week. Anything beyond this will always be at the discretion of the employer. It doesn't matter whether the employee has been forced to assume more difficult or demanding responsibilities, how much time the employee is working, or how much they were getting paid before. Employers are not required to be fair when it comes to how they choose to pay their employees. Employers are only restricted from basing compensation decisions on legally protected traits such as race or gender (i.e. having a policy to pay women less than men) and from paying exempt employees less than $800 a week.
The only potential argument that you are entitled to additional pay would be on the theory that you are improperly classified as an exempt employee. Not all employees can be classified as exempt and it is not up to the employer. Rather, the employee's job duties are what dictate whether exempt status is available. If you are part of the leadership team, that means you are likely being classified as exempt pursuant to the managerial (aka "executive") exemption from overtime. To be eligible for this exemption, you need to spend the majority of your time managing other employees and you must have substantial discretion when it comes to hiring, firing and management decisions. See here for more information about the requirements. http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Glossary.asp?Button1=E#executive%20exemption
If you can argue that you are improperly classified as exempt, then your employer must pay you overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week or 8 per day. Thus, you m ay have a wage claim for back pay. But aside from this, you cannot compel your employer to pay you more, regardless of whether your wage is fair. I wish there were greater protection in this circumstance, but the law affords employers a lot of discretion when it comes to setting compensation levels.
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