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Helping You Navigate Workplace Issues in California

California Wage & Hour Disputes Lawyer

California law requires employers to conform to specific standards regarding pay, rest periods, meal breaks, and overtime. An employer who fails to pay what is owed or maintains unsafe or unhealthy working conditions can be required to compensate his or her employees. Contact our California office today to schedule a consultation with a California wage & hour lawyer immediately if you have any questions about what your rights are as an employee working in California.

Daily Overtime

Employees are not permitted to work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week unless they receive overtime for the extra shifts. The standard rate of daily overtime is one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for every extra hour worked. However, once an employee has worked more than 12 hours in a single day, his or her employer must begin paying double the regular wage.

Minimum Wage

California state law mandates a minimum wage for all hours worked for covered employees. The minimum wage is an employer’s obligation and so cannot be waived, even by an employee. If an employer is not compensating a worker appropriately, he or she can either:

  • File a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; or
  • File a lawsuit in court to recover the lost wages.

Meal Breaks

The Labor Code defines a meal as an adequate, well-balanced serving of a variety of wholesome and nutritious foods. California law requires that employees who work for more than five hours are allocated a meal period of no less than 30 minutes. The single exception to this rule is when a shift is only six hours. In these cases, the meal period can be waived by mutual consent of both the employee and the employer. Furthermore, the meal period will be considered on duty and so will count toward time worked if the nature of the employee’s work prevents him or her from being relieved of all duty for that 30 minutes. Both parties will also be required to record the agreement in writing.

When an employer does not provide an employee with a meal break, he or she is required to pay the employee one hour of pay at the regular rate of compensation for each workday that the break is not provided.

Rest Periods

In California, all employers must permit workers to take rest periods, which should generally be in the middle of each shift, although the time allocated for rest is based on the total hours worked daily. For instance, for every four hours worked, an employee must receive ten minutes of rest. If an employer fails to give employees rest breaks, he or she is required to pay them an extra hour of pay for each workday that a rest period wasn’t provided. Finally, employers are required to provide employees with access to a break room that is separate from the bathroom and is available during work hours.

Contact Our California Wage & Hour Dispute Lawyers Today

The laws regarding meal and break times and payment of wages are an important way to ensure that employees are treated fairly and that employers who violate these laws are held responsible for their actions. Contact our California wage & hour dispute lawyers today to discuss your case and we can begin working on a solution as soon as possible.

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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