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What Are Your Rights As A Wage And Hour Employee?

All employees have basic wage and hour rights in the workplace — including the right to fair compensation. A job applicant also has certain rights even prior to being hired as an employee. Those rights include the right to be free from wage discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, or religion during the hiring process.

Below are common wage and hour violations. 

Wage & Hour Cases

Employers often fail to comply with California Wage and Hour requirements in many different ways, including the following common violations: 

  1. Not providing employees with an uninterrupted 30 minute meal period after fifth hour of the shift.
  2. Not paying an extra hour of pay for each missed meal period or rest break.
  3. Not paying an extra hour of pay for each missed meal period or rest break.
  4. Not providing all required information on paystubs and earnings statements.
  5. Not compensating employees for all employment expenses (such as uniforms, automobile mileage, etc.).
  6. Not providing “cool down” periods for employees working in hot temperatures.
  7. Not providing suitable seating.
  8. Forcing employees to work “off the clock,” or “rounding” employee time at the beginning or end of the shift.
  9. Requiring you to take your lunch while still working and not paying you for that time.
  10. Not accounting for commission, bonuses or other benefits such as free meals in calculating overtime pay.
  11. Not paying time and a half for all hours over 8 in a day, and/or 40 in a week.
  12. Not providing a 10 minute rest break for each four hour work period.
  13. Not paying for all earned vacation upon termination of your employment.
  14. Not providing paid sick days.

wage and hour

California Wage & Hour Labor Laws

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in California is $12 per hour when an employer has more than 25 employees. 

It is $11 per hour when and employer has less than 26 employees. 


Labor laws in California require an employer to pay overtime unless otherwise exempt. 

  • time and a half (1½) the normal rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek or eight (8) hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight (8) hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek
  • double time (2) the normal rate or pay for all hours worked in excess of twelve (12) hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Click Here: California Labor Department Overtime Laws

Meals & Breaks

Labor laws in California require employers to provide a 30 minute break when an employee works more than 5 hours. 

The break period should be counted as hours worked unless the employee is completely relieved of their duties and free to leave the premises. 

Click Here: Section 512 of California Labor Code

Vacation Time

Employers in California are not required to provide vacation time to employees. 

Those that do are required to follow their vacation policy. 

When the employment ends the employer is required to pay for all vacation time accrued but not taken on the employees fina check. 

In California it is illegal for an employer to implement a policy that requires you to use any vacation time accrued or lose the accrued time earned.  

Click Here: Section 227.3 of California Labor Code

Sick Days

California labor laws do require employers to provide paid sick days to employees that work more than 30 days. 

There are some exceptions, for instance, employees that have a collective bargaining agreement or work providing in-home support services. 

Click Here: Section 245 & 246 of California Labor Code

Paid Holidays 

Labor laws in California do not require employers to provide paid holidays. 

Jury Duty & Voting 

When you receive a jury summons your employer is required to comply with the summons but they are not required to pay the employee.

When you exercise your right to vote, the employer is required to allow employees time to vote and are required to pay for up to 2 hours of your normal wages for the time off. 

Severance Pay

Employers are not required to provide severance pay but can choose to do so.



If you believe your employer is not complying with the law for any reason, contact an employment lawyer for a free consultation.

You Have Legal Rights And You May Have A Right To Compensation!

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