Wage & Hour Laws
At JJS, we believe that many wage and hour disputes are the result of (1) unpaid wages, (2) improperly calculated overtime wages, and blatant violations of minimum wage laws.
Federal and state laws require employers pay their employees a minimum wages and, in most cases, overtime wages. Federal minimum wage laws require employers to pay you a minimum hourly rate of $7.25 an hour; however, California wage laws require a minimum of $8.00 an hour.
Employers are prohibited from giving fines or docking wages below the standard minimum wage. It is also illegal to withhold an employee’s final paycheck. If you are an employee and have not been paid at least $7.25 per hour, or if you have not been paid for all the hours you worked, then your employer may have violated certain laws and you may be entitled to damages.
California Overtime Requirements
In California, overtime pay is calculated for each day on an individual basis as well as for hours worked that are over forty hours in any given 5 day workweek. Employees are entitled to “time and a half” pay for any time worked over eight hours in any given day, “double time pay” for any time worked over 12 hours in any given day, and “time and a half” for any time over forty hours worked in a work week.
Exempt vs. Non Exempt Employees
Even if an employer pays their employee a salary and even if that salaried employee has some managerial duties, that employee may still be entitled to overtime pay depending on the actual duties of that employee. The legal analysis as to whether an employee qualifies as “exempt” from overtime can be somewhat complex. Make sure to take advantage of our consultation programs, where one of our knowledgeable wage and hour attorneys will speak to you regarding these very technical legal issues and how they may apply to your case.
Please note that if you earn hourly pay, you may be entitled to receiving overtime pay in the following circumstances:
- If, at the request of the employer, you arrive to work earlier and you do light work.
- If you usually work through lunch breaks at the request of the employer.
- If your employer knows and requests that you take work home with you.
- If you are home and are required by your employer to be on call and prepared to report to work within an hour.
- If you work many overtime hours at the end of the work week and your employer states that you can leave work several hours earlier the following week.
- If the job requires you to stay overnight for out-of-state assignments or travel extensively while on company business (but not for normal commuting travel to and from your home)