There are strict laws that protect Californian employees from violations by their employers. These are the wage and hour laws. Some of the common violations include:
- Failure to pay overtime
- Failure to pay minimum wage
- Exempting employees from their wage/hour requirements
- Demanding for “work off the clock”
- Failure to provide the required rest and breaks
If you suspect that your employer may be violating your wage/hour rights, then you can always look for a trained California employment lawyer to guide you through the whole process to file a wage/hour lawsuit.
Do the California wage/hour laws apply to you?
The California wage/hour laws apply to the non-exempt employees of California. What this means is that some laws on overtime and meal breaks will probably not apply if you are a independent contractor or an “exempt employee.”
Employees vs Independent contractors
Because these laws only cover California employees, you should not expect to be protected if you are an independent contractor.
You can find some employers attempting to evade payroll taxes by classifying some of their employees as independent contractors. Doing this will also exempt the employers from having to pay up the employee overtime and minimum wages should they deem so.
Exempt vs non-exempt employees
The California state laws say that the wage/hour laws do not apply to the exempt employees. These laws also do not apply to the administrative, executive, and professional employees. The employees who work in the software field, licensed surgeons and physicians, and also teachers are part of the exempt employees category. It is also not a rare case to find many employers classifying their non-exempt employees as exempt.
It is the law that all non-exempt California employees ought to be paid the minimum wage. There are special exceptions, however, like the inclusion of exempt employees minus the independent contractors to be paid the minimum wage as per the state laws. You also need to realize that different counties and cities in California apply different minimum wages.
It is also a California state law that all non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay.
Time and a half
It is the law that employers pay their non-exempt employees 1.5 times the regular pay rate for any overtime work done.
Double time and overtime
All the non-exempt employees that work for more than twelve hours on a single day are entitled to double overtime as per the California state law on wage/hour.
Rest and meal breaks
The wage/hour law also entitles all the non-exempt employees to regular rest and meal breaks.
If you are a non-exempt employee in California who works for more than five hours, then you should know that you are entitled to a meal break of no less than 30 minutes. If you work more than 10 hours a day, it is the law that you receive two meal breaks that should go for no less than 30 minutes each.
For every four hours of work, the California wage/hour law entitles all non-exempt employees with a 10-minute break.
Do you have a question about wage and hour laws in California? Click here to contact the experts at Von Esch today!