The situation would seem simple enough: you work for an employer, and you’re supposed to get paid fully for the work you do. But the reality is that many people in California are unlawfully underpaid.
While California law offers some of the strongest employee protections in the world, many employers don’t play by the rules, essentially committing wage theft. How do they do this? Here are two of the most common wage and hour violations in California:
California is different than other states when it comes to payment for overtime. Most employees in California are owed an overtime rate (1.5 times the regular rate of pay) if they work more than eight hours in a single workday.
In other states, you would have to work more than 40 hours in a single workweek to get overtime pay. That rule still applies in California, but here you may be owed 1.5 times your regular rate if you work more than eight hours in a day. Some employers fail to follow this rule, and employees lose a lot of money and time as a result.
Also, employers are required to pay double an employee’s regular rate for all hours worked above 12 in a workday, and for all hours worked above eight on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek. Ask yourself whether your employer has been following this rule.
Failure to Provide Meal and Rest Breaks
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, one of the most common wage and hour violations is failure to provide legally compliant meal and rest breaks.
Under California law, you could be owed significant financial compensation if your employer has failed to provide meal and rest breaks that meet the established legal requirements.
Important to note: “on-call” workers and workers who use walkie-talkies and other communication devices are particularly susceptible to meal and rest break violations.
Learn more about your rights.
If you have questions about these matters, the best person to talk to is an experienced employment law attorney, particularly one who handles California employment law specifically. California employment law offers stronger protections than federal employment law. If you work in California, it’s important to know your rights and how much you’re supposed to get paid for the work you do.