California Wage and Hour laws provide more favorable protections to employees than Federal laws. For example, California employees must be paid enough to meet the minimum wage of both Federal and California laws. Employees are also entitled to receive overtime pay at 1.5 times of their regulate rate of pay for all hours greater than eight hours in any workday and all hours in excess of forty hours per week. In addition, employers must provide meal periods of thirty minutes every five hours and break times of no less than ten minutes every four hours. Moreover, employees are entitled to a record on every paycheck of what they have been paid and how that wage was calculated. The failure to provide such a record can be the basis of a claim. Failure to comply with these rigid requirements can result in stiff penalties. For instance, the employer is required to pay double damages and one hour of pay at the employees’ regular rate for each day that the employer failed to provide a lunch or meal break, plus attorney’s fees and costs.
Small employers who are family-owned businesses often operate on a much more casual basis. They are often unfamiliar with complicated wage and hour laws and requirements. However, even a small unintentional breach of the law can be the basis of an employee’s claim. Our Firm has considerable experience in this area. We have helped employers comply with state and federal regulation to minimize the risks of a lawsuit. We can help clients classify employees as exempt employees who qualify for an exception from minimum wage and overtime pay.
As for employees who have been taking advantage of by their employers who failed to pay minimum wage or overtime, our Firm has extensive experience in helping clients negotiate and settle the claim with their employers. If settlement is not possible, litigation is always an option.