As a certified California attorney referral service, we hear many questions regarding California wage and hour laws. Below is a list we’ve compiled over the years to help you understand your rights and if you have a valid claim.
The minimum wage in California varies based on the employer size, with the general minimum wage set to $15.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.
Yes, some cities in California may have higher local minimum wage rates than the state’s standard minimum wage.
The minimum wage in California typically increases annually on January 1st.
The standard working hours in California are typically 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
Employees in California can work up to 8 hours per day without earning overtime pay.
Employees can work up to 40 hours per week without earning overtime pay.
The overtime rate in California is one and a half times an employee’s regular hourly rate for hours worked beyond 8 in a day or 40 in a week.
Yes, there are exceptions for certain types of employees, such as salaried exempt employees or those in specific industries.
Yes, employers must provide meal and rest breaks to employees based on the length of their shift.
Meal breaks must be at least 30 minutes for shifts of 5 hours or more, and 10-minute rest breaks for every 4 hours worked.
Rest breaks should be at least 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked.
Under certain conditions, employees may voluntarily waive their second meal break for shifts exceeding 10 hours.
If an employee reports to work but is not given any work or is given less than half of their usual hours, they are entitled to receive “reporting time pay.”
Final wages must be paid immediately upon termination for voluntary resignations and within 72 hours for involuntary terminations.
Employers must pay employees premium pay for working on holidays, typically at 1.5 or 2 times their regular rate.
No, an employee must be classified as either exempt or non-exempt based on specific criteria.
Exempt employees are generally salaried and exempt from overtime pay, while non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay.
Yes, some industries may have specific wage and hour regulations that apply to them.
Employers are required to provide paid sick leave to employees, with specific accrual rates and usage rules.
Employees can file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or pursue legal action to seek remedies for violations.
In California, you can work up to 12 days in a row without a day off, as long as you are not required to work more than six hours on the seventh day. However, there are some exceptions and limitations to this rule, such as:
|Wage and Hour Violations in California||Description|
|1. Minimum Wage Violations||Paying employees less than the current minimum wage.|
|2. Overtime Violations||Failing to pay overtime for hours worked beyond 8 in a day or 40 in a week.|
|3. Missed Meal and Rest Breaks||Not providing required meal breaks (30 minutes for shifts of 5 hours or more) or rest breaks (10 minutes per 4 hours worked).|
|4. Off-the-Clock Work||Requiring employees to work off-the-clock, such as before or after their scheduled shift.|
|5. Improper Classification||Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime when they should be non-exempt.|
|6. Unpaid Travel Time||Not compensating employees for work-related travel time, excluding regular commuting.|
|7. Wage Deduction Violations||Illegally deducting wages for cash shortages, breakages, or other expenses.|
|8. Unpaid Reporting Time Pay||Failing to provide reporting time pay when employees are called to work but not given any or enough work.|
|9. Final Paycheck Violations||Not providing final wages on time upon termination (within 72 hours for involuntary terminations).|
|10. Misuse of Tip Credit||Using tip credits to pay employees less than the full minimum wage.|
|11. Misuse of Paid Time Off||Forcing employees to use vacation days for sick leave or not providing paid sick leave as required.|
|12. Independent Contractor Misclassification||Incorrectly classifying employees as independent contractors to avoid providing benefits and overtime.|
|13. Employee Misclassifications||Misclassifying employees to avoid compliance with labor laws.|
|14. Unpaid Overtime for Salaried Employees||Failing to pay overtime to salaried employees who do not meet the exemption criteria.|
|15. Improper Use of Alternative Workweek Schedules||Misusing alternative workweek schedules or not following the required procedures.|
|16. Failure to Reimburse Business Expenses||Not reimbursing employees for necessary business expenses incurred during the course of employment.|
|17. Unlawful Payroll Deductions||Making unauthorized payroll deductions that violate labor laws.|
|18. Unlawful Recordkeeping Practices||Failing to maintain accurate and complete records of employee hours, wages, and other information.|
|19. Retaliation Against Employees||Retaliating against employees who assert their rights or file complaints related to wage and hour issues.|
|20. Failure to Provide Paystubs||Not furnishing accurate and itemized paystubs to employees.|
Overtime is required to be paid for hours worked beyond 8 in a day or 40 in a week, and double time for hours worked beyond 12 in a day.
No, employers must relieve employees of all duties during their breaks.
Employers may be required to pay an additional hour of pay as a “premium” for each missed meal or rest break.
Employers generally must compensate employees for time spent on work-related travel, except for regular commuting.
Generally, no, employers are prohibited from making such deductions from an employee’s paycheck.
Employers are not required to provide paid vacation days, but if offered, they must be paid upon termination.
Yes, employers can require employees to work on holidays, but they must comply with applicable overtime laws.
In general, employers can require employees to work overtime or on weekends, provided they meet the overtime pay requirements.
No, employers cannot require employees to use vacation days for sick leave.
No, employers in California cannot use a tip credit to meet the minimum wage. Employees must be paid the full minimum wage, and tips are in addition to their regular pay.
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