California employers must stay updated regarding state employment laws. For example, as of Jan. 1, 2023, the minimum wage throughout the state rose to $15.50 per hour. This marks the second-highest state-level minimum wage in the US; however, it is not the highest minimum wage in California. Many municipalities, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, have higher minimum wages. And in 2024, the minimum wage is scheduled to rise again to $16.00 per hour.
An employer must be well-versed in minimum wage law, and exactly how much the base rate of pay in your area is only the first part of it.
How overtime works in California
In California, workers who put in more than eight hours in a single shift must be paid time and a half of their regular hourly wage. More than 12 hours of work in one day means double the hourly wage. More than 40 hours of work in a week must be paid time and a half for every hour over 40. Lastly, more than six consecutive days in a week must be paid time and a half as well.
Wage and hour allegations regarding breaks and mealtimes
California labor laws state that employers must provide 30-minute meal breaks for employees who work more than five consecutive hours. You must also get a 10-minute paid rest break for every four hours – or a significant portion of four hours – worked. In some industries, employers can hold off on providing a break until six consecutive hours have been logged.
Wage and hour complaints may come with time off complaints
Issues regarding vacation time, sick leave and holidays often arise in connection with wage and hour complaints as well. While sick time and other time off issues are not necessarily linked directly to wages, California has worker-friendly labor laws across most industries. It is best to consider speaking with an experienced California employment law when you see a dispute coming.