If you run a business in California or are thinking about starting one, it’s essential to be up to date on the state’s wage and hour laws. These laws set the minimum wage, as well as the rules for overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, final paychecks, and more.
While the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a national minimum wage and establishes basic employee protections, states are free to enact their own laws that provide additional protections or establish a higher minimum wage. And California has some of the most comprehensive wage and hour laws in the country.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know about California’s wage and hour laws for 2022.
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage that an employer can pay workers. In California, the current minimum wage is increasing in 2022 to $14 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $15 per hour for employers with over 25 employees. This is a significant increase from the current minimum wage and will have a major impact on businesses in the state.
When determining how much to pay employees, employers must also consider the cost of living in California. The state’s high cost of living means that workers need to earn a higher wage just to cover basic expenses. Offering more than the minimum wage can help attract and retain employees in California who are looking for jobs that allow them to cover the cost of living.
Overtime pay is time-and-a-half the employee’s regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. If you are an employer in California, there are three main laws you need to be aware of when it comes to overtime pay:
- You must pay overtime when an individual has worked more than eight hours in a single workday.
- You are required to pay overtime if an individual has spent over 40 hours in a single week working.
- If an individual has worked more than six consecutive days, you must pay overtime for the seventh day and beyond.
These overtime laws are designed to protect workers from being overworked and underpaid. It’s understandable that from time to time, employees may need to work overtime hours to meet the demands of the business. But when it becomes a regular occurrence, it can have a negative impact on employees’ health and well-being. This is why it’s essential to reward employees for their extra work with overtime pay.
Meal and Rest Breaks
All employees in California are entitled to take a 30-minute meal break for every five hours worked. This break must be provided no later than the end of the fifth hour of work. If an employee works more than six hours, they are also entitled to a second 30-minute meal break. However, this second break can be waived if the employee works no more than 12 hours and is given an additional hour of pay.
In addition to meal breaks, employees are also entitled to take a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. These are designed to give employees a chance to rest and rejuvenate before returning to work. It’s an important part of maintaining a healthy and productive workforce, and it protects employees from being overworked.
When an employee is terminated or quits, they are entitled to receive their final paycheck on their last day of work. If an employee is fired, the employer must provide their final paycheck immediately. If an employee quits, the employer has 72 hours to provide their final paycheck.
If an employee is owed wages, the employer must pay them in full on the next regular payday. If the employee is owed commissions, the employer has 72 hours to pay them. If an employee is owed vacation pay, the employer must pay them on the next regular payday.
As an employer, it’s important to be aware of California’s wage and hour laws. These laws are designed to protect workers from being overworked and underpaid. By understanding the laws, you can ensure you are in compliance and avoid any penalties. If you have any questions about California’s wage and hour laws, an experienced employment lawyer can help.
Q: What is the minimum salary in California in 2023?
A: The minimum salary in California will be $15 per hour for employers with 25 or more employees and $14 per hour for employers with 24 or fewer employees.
Q: How often do I have to pay my employees?
A: You must pay your employees at least twice per month on regular paydays that you have established in advance.
Q: Is a two-hour shift legal in California?
A: Yes, a two-hour shift is legal in California as long as the employee is paid for all hours worked and is given appropriate meal and rest breaks.
Q: Do California wage and hour laws apply to out-of-state employees?
A: No, California wage and hour laws only apply to employees who work within the state. However, if an employee is working in California on a temporary basis, they may be covered by the laws. An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine if your employees are covered by California’s wage and hour laws.
Contact the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams Today
If you have any questions about California’s wage and hour laws, or if you need help with compliance, contact the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams today. Our experienced employment lawyers can help you ensure that you are in compliance with the law and avoid any penalties. We work directly with employers to help them understand and comply with California’s wage and hour laws to keep their businesses running smoothly with happy, healthy, and fulfilled employees. The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams is a full-service law firm that represents businesses and individuals in a variety of legal matters. We have experience handling wage and hour compliance issues and can help you ensure your business is in compliance with the law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve your legal goals.