California workers have certain rights on the job, including those pertaining to wages and hours worked that protect employees and ensure that they get paid what they are due. It’s important to understand California’s wage and hour laws.
What is California’s minimum wage?
Although the federal minimum wage was still $7.25 as of 2020, California raised its state minimum wage to $14 per hour for all employers with up to 25 employees and $15 for those with 26 or more employees. Individuals who earn tips as part of their jobs are entitled to the full minimum wage in addition to those tips.
Who can earn overtime?
All workers in California are able to get overtime pay if they work more than eight hours within a day or more than 40 hours per week. Overtime is calculated as one and one-half times the worker’s regular hourly pay rate. Those who work more than 12 hours in a single day are required to receive double time.
California workers and breaks
Workers are also entitled to rest and meal breaks, with every five hours giving them a required 30-minute unpaid meal break. For every four hours worked, employees must be given a 10-minute break. That being said, employees are permitted to skip their rest and meal breaks as long as they don’t work over 12 hours in a day. However, if they work that many hours, they are only permitted to skip one meal break and not the other. Workers must be paid for waived breaks or it constitutes wage and hour issues.
The federal wage and hour law is known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, but California has its own laws as well. Employers are required to follow these laws and pay their employees according to the standards. If an employee is withheld wages they are legally due, they can file a complaint against their employer.