Your employer needs to treat you fairly. According to the Labor Commissioner’s Office, employees in California should not exceed 8 hours per workday and 40 hours per workweek. These are the legal numbers in most industries.
Working more than the required hours constitutes overtime – and you should be paid accordingly. The accepted rate per hour is one and one-half times your regular rate of pay for up to 12 hours. The rate doubles above 12 hours.
California employment laws protect employees significantly. However, some employers violate them. Here are two wage and hour violations to keep in mind:
1. Not paying the minimum wage
The Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) changed the California minimum wage as of January 1, 2022. Employers with 25 employees or fewer are now required to pay a minimum wage of $14 per hour and those with 26 or more employees are to pay $15 per hour.
If your employer is paying you under the stated amounts, they may be violating your employee rights. As of January 2023, the rates will change effectively to $15 for both sectors.
2. Wage reduction without discussions
Lawful wage deductions are to be expressed in writing by an employee. You can opt to have some money deducted from your salary to cover insurance premiums, retirement plans and other contributions. Your employer can also deduct your wages when required by federal or state law.
It is unlawful, however, for your employer to reduce your wages for things they require you to do as part of your job. Examples include medical and physical examinations, taking photographs, wearing uniforms and, in some situations, lodging and meals. Your employer should also reimburse you for expenses or losses you incurred in the line of duty.
Work and hours violations are more common than most employees believe. If this happens to you, it will be best to consider all your legal options.