Federal and state laws require that your employer pay you minimum wages and, in many cases, overtime wages. While the federal minimum wage for covered non-exempt employees is $7.25/hour, California employees are entitled to be paid at least $11.00/hour, effective January 1, 2018. If you are not being paid the current minimum wage, your employer may have violated these laws and you may be entitled to damages.
Note: Tips and gratuities cannot be counted by employers towards the minimum wage payment owed under law. Employers must pay you the full minimum wage of $9.00/hour, regardless of how much you earn in tips.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), employees must receive overtime pay (1.5 times the regular hourly rate) for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week unless their job duties qualify them as “exempt” from overtime provisions. If you are an hourly employee you most likely qualify as “non-exempt.” If you are paid a salary instead of an hourly wage, you may still be entitled to overtime wages. Your job duties and responsibilities determine if you must be paid overtime, not your job title or salary status. (CLICK HERE > for more information on what qualifies as an “exempt employee”.)
Employers must provide employees with an opportunity to take meal and rest breaks. In California, an employee must be permitted to take an uninterrupted 30 minute meal break and 2 ten minute rest breaks per 8 hour shift. During these meal and rest breaks the employer must relieve the employee of all duties during those breaks. Employers who fail to provide employees with an opportunity to take uninterrupted meal and rest breaks may be liable for up to 2 hours a day of premium pay at the employee’s hourly rate.