Are You Receiving The Wage And Hour Benefits? Know Your Rights

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Under California Law, as an employee, you get entitled to certain rights, protections, and benefits.

The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act. Wage and hour laws are simple to understand but some employers take advantage of their employee’s lack of knowledge and understanding of their basic rights.

If you believe that your employer has violated wage and hour laws, you can consult an experienced employment lawyer in California who can help you with filling wage and hour lawsuits in court.

Employees file wage and hour claims when their employer does not compensate them for all the hours worked or compensates them at a rate that is lower than what the employee is entitled to by law.

There are ways employers deny wages and full compensation under wage and hour laws:

  • Making employees ‘work off the clock’

Under the wage and hour law, employers may not make their employees ‘work off the clock’ without compensating them for the same. ‘Work off the clock’ is work performed outside an employee’s normal working hours with their employer’s knowledge, but the employee is neither compensated nor counted towards an employee’s weekly work hours for overtime pay.

  • Failing to provide required meal and rest breaks

Under the law, whenever an employer fails to provide required meal and rest breaks, the employee has the right to file a claim for a meal and rest break. Under the wage and hour law, all non-exempt employees must receive a thirty-minute lunch or meal break if they work more than 5 hours a day.

Whereas, employees who work more than 10 hours during a day are entitled to get a second thirty minutes meal break. Employees are entitled to ten minutes rest period for every four hours that they work in a day.

  • Employers failing to pay minimum wage

Employees have a minimum wage claim when an employer fails to pay the minimum wage required under federal or state law.

Below is a table to help you better understand the schedule for the California Minimum Wage rate 2019-2023:

Date

Minimum Wage for Employers with 25 Employees or Less

Minimum Wage for Employers with 26 Employees or More

January 1, 2019

$11.00/hour

$12.00/hour

January 1, 2020

$12.00/hour $13.00/hour

January 1, 2021

$13.00/hour

$14.00/hour

January 1, 2022

$14.00/hour

$15.00/hour

January 1, 2023 $15.00/hour

 

It is illegal for employers to pay less than the minimum wage.

  • Employers failing to Pay Overtime

Under the overtime laws, non-exempt employees are required to earn one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay when they work more than 8 hours in a workday, more than 40 hours in a workweek, or more than 6 consecutive days in a workweek. Employers are required to pay to double-time for non-exempt employees working more than 12 hours in a workday, or 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek. When employers fail to pay for overtime hours, employees have the right to file overtime claims.

To wrap it up 

California law prohibits whistleblower retaliation or wrongful termination of employees who exercise their rights under the wage and hours law.

If your employer fails to provide at least the minimum wage, you can file a wage claim with the division of labor standards enforcement, or file a lawsuit in court against your employer to recover the lost wages.

Laws of overtime, meal breaks, etc do not apply to someone who is an independent contractor rather than an employee, or someone who is an ‘exempt employee’ under California labor law.

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