You Work Hard, You Deserve to be Paid Fairly … and Lawfully
There are cliches in life like “there is nothing certain but death and taxes.” In many ways, when you take a job you add “getting paid on time and at the right amount” to the list of things that you sincerely believe will be as certain as the need to pay taxes and the ultimate ending of life.
Unfortunately, with shocking regularity workers find themselves confronting issues involving their wages. In many ways, nothing is more frustrating than facing the prospect of a California wage and hour claim.
The legal team at Eldessouky Law represents women and men just like you with issues associated with employment compensation. If your employer has not paid you for all the hours you’ve worked, we can help.
If you have questions about your rights as an employee in California or wish to discuss your case confidentially with one of our experienced employment attorneys, contact our office at 714-409-8991 or fill out one of our contact forms online.
Wage and Hour Law Basics in California
Wage and hour laws establish the essential requirements for what you are to be paid as an employee. These laws also set forth parameters governing work hours and what you must be paid if you put in overtime. In addition to overtime, California wage and hour laws also set forth requirements in regard to:
- Minimum wage
- Lunch or meal breaks
- Other work-related breaks
- Definition of time worked
- Timing of wage payments
- Manner of wage payments
Government Oversight of Wage and Hour Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA is the federal law establishing rules and regulations regarding wages and work hours. However, different states, cities, and counties also maintain their own wage and hour statutes, ordinances, and regulations. This includes the state of California as well as wage and hour requirements established by some local units of government across the Golden State.
Minimum Wage in California
California enacted a law that allows for a steady increase to the state minimum wage from one year to the next. The law expands its reach to employers of different types as time progresses as well.
For example, commencing in 2019, companies with 25 or fewer employees became obligated to pay a minimum wage of at least $11.00 per hour. At the same time, larger employers with over 25 employees must pay a minimum wage of $12.00 an hour.
In 2020, both these types of employers are required to raise the minimum wage by $1.00 of the current minimum wage. The increase is supposed to continue till 2023 when every employer must pay their employees a minimum wage of $15.00.
Minimum Wage in California for Tipped Employees
Even though the federal FSLA and some other state laws allow employers to pay a lower minimum wage to tipped employees, these laws do not apply to California. The law in California requires employers to pay the full minimum wage to tipped employees for each working hour.
Lunch or Rest Break
In California, the workers are entitled to a lunch break of half an hour after five working hours, which is unpaid. With the exception of days when there are only six total working hours or less, and the employee and employer agree to waive the break.
Employees are not supposed to work more than 10 hours per day without another half-hour break, except when the workday is only 12 hours. There’s an option to waive it if the first break wasn’t waived. If the employees agree in writing, an on-duty paid meal is allowed due to such work nature.
Except for the employees who have less than a total of three and a half working hours, employees are permitted to a paid ten-minute rest break every four working hours.
If eligible employees in California work more than 8 hours per day or more than 40 hours in a week, they are entitled to receive overtime. For more than 12 working hours, employees are eligible to receive double time. For working on the 7th day, the employee is eligible for the time worked, and a half for the first eight working hours and double time for extra hours. However, these laws aren’t applicable to every job.
Commonplace California Wage and Hour Claims Made by Workers
In California, overtime law requires non-exempt employees to be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked over eight hours in a day and when working any hours over 40 hours in a given work week. The failure to pay overtime properly is the most frequently occurring type of wage and hour claim made in the state.
Other frequently made wage and hour violation claims include:
- Misclassification of non-exempt and contract employees
- Failure to pay overtime wages
- Failure to pay minimum wages
- Failure to pay wages, making employees work off-the-clock
- Failure to allow proper meal or rest breaks
Related Read: How to Sue Your Employer for Unpaid Wages in California
Justice and Fighting for Your Legal Rights
Armed with this basic information about federal and California wage and hour laws, you need to be as proactive as possible to protect your legal rights and interests. The first step to best ensure that your rights as an employee are protected is to engage the services of a qualified unpaid wages lawyer like a member of the experienced, committed legal team at Eldessouky Law. You can connect an employment attorney from our firm now or any time you desire by calling (714) 409-8991 or fill out one of our contact forms online.
There is no charge and no obligation for a consultation.
Our firm also makes an attorney fee pledge to you. We understand that when you’re dealing with wage-related issues, the last thing you need to worry about is coming up with money to retain a lawyer to fight for your important rights. We do not charge attorney fees unless we win a favorable settlement of judgment for you.
Again, our firm is here for you. Call us today at (714) 409-8991.