Like other states, California recognizes that it might not always be feasible, or even necessary, to pay an employee overtime. As such, California recognizes several exemptions to the rule that an employee who works over the equivalent of 40 hours a week must get 150% of their hourly wage for all overtime hours worked.
California lawmakers have passed Assembly Bill 5, a measure that reporters are already saying will overhaul the landscape of employment law in this state. The measure now awaits the signature of the Governor. The Governor has been supportive of this Bill.
Long known for being a progressive state when it comes to protecting the rights of workers, the State of California is now considering whether to require workers now treated as independent contractors to be provided with the full protections of employees.
For those who work on an hourly wage in California, their livelihood, to a great extent, depends on the time clock. The more hours they work while clocked in, the more they get paid. Moreover, a precise count of how many hours they have devoted to their jobs is necessary to figure out whether they are entitled to overtime for a given pay period. This is one reason why so-called off-the-clock work is almost always problematic and, on many occasions, prohibited under both federal and California law.
It is unfortunate that many employers in the Los Angeles area and throughout California take all kinds of steps to avoid having to pay overtime wages as required under the law.
California employers do not have to offer vacation time, or, for that matter, flexible paid time off, to their employees at all. However, if they do choose to offer vacation time, then the benefit must comply with California's laws.
Companies in Los Angeles have to rely from to time on others to perform tasks like cleaning the restrooms or fixing a leaky faucet. Likewise, businesses may bring in consultants or other specialists to handle a particular specialized task, like installing better information technology.
In addition to federal laws, our state has its own set of laws and regulations that require employers in Los Angeles and throughout this state to afford periodic breaks to their employees. Here, employers must allow hourly employees a break for every four hours worked. The break requirement also applies to every major fraction of four hours worked, and state regulators have interpreted this to include any time worked over two hours. However, an employee must work at least 3.5 hours on a given day in order to be entitled to a break.
Earlier this month the United States Department of Labor announced a proposed rule change regarding the minimum salary required to qualify as exempt from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act white collar exemptions. A white collar worker is one who is employed in an executive, administrative, or professional position.
In California, many of workers are eligible to receive overtime if they go beyond their regular work hours. However, it is not uncommon for employers to fail to pay these workers and be guilty of committing a violation related to unpaid wages. Often, workers are not even aware that they were supposed to get overtime under the law. In other instances, they are concerned about their job status if they file a complaint over unpaid wages.