Overtime pay applies to any time worked by a non-exempt employee over 8 hours per workday and over 40 hours per workweek. In accordance with California overtime laws, overtime pay is calculated as 1.5 times your regular hourly rate.
On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Los Angeles County increased to $13 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $12 per hour for employees with 25 or fewer employees. The minimum wage will be adjusted on a yearly basis through 2023.
Work that is “off the clock” is any work performed for an employer that is not compensated at either the regular or overtime rate. “Off-the-clock” work varies by employer and even industry. Essentially, all job-related activities that benefit the employer should be part of the employee’s paid time.
An employee who is terminated or laid off must be paid all of his or her earned and unpaid wages, including unused vacation or other paid time off, at the time of termination.
Commissions are earnings based on a percentage of the price of goods or services an employee sells. A written commission agreement determines when the commissions are considered earned. Once the commissions are earned, California’s regular payday laws apply. This means you must be paid at least twice a month, including any commissions that you’ve earned.
Labor Code section 203 specifies employer penalties for not following the law regarding payments. Section 203 assesses a monetary penalty equal to one day of wages, at the employee’s standard hourly rate, for each day the employer is late, up to a maximum of thirty days. In other words, if your employer is 30 days late with your paycheck, they employer must pay a penalty of 30 days times your daily wage.
Items which are essential to the job, such as work equipment, should be paid for by the employer. Your employer may also owe you payment for travel time and mileage as required by your job duties.
Employee rights under California wage and hour law protects workers from unlawful deductions employers may use to minimize the compensation owed to you. You may see unlawful deductions show up on your check stub, such as maintenance, tools or for broken equipment, which you do not legally have to pay.
A bonus dispute often arises in the aftermath of a termination or layoff. In these cases, employers will sometimes fail to pay out bonus compensation owed to the employee. If you have met the requirements for a bonus, then you should receive it. The failure of your company to deliver is wrong and in many cases illegal.
The rules for determining the status of exempt and nonexempt employees are complex. Generally speaking, to be exempt, the employee must exercise independent judgment when performing job duties and be paid at least two times the minimum wage for full-time employment. There are other tests as well. Only through careful investigation and analysis by an experienced exemption lawyer can your status be determined. If you receive a salary or have the title “manager,” you are not necessarily an exempt employee. In reality, you may actually be a nonexempt employee and entitled to overtime pay.
Employers may attempt to classify workers as independent contractors because it is less expensive to the employer. Employers do not have to provide independent contractors with health care benefits or cover them under California workers compensation, disability, unemployment or Social Security insurance. Employers sometimes improperly classify their employees as “managers” or as “independent contractors,” to prevent those employees from receiving meal and rest breaks or overtime. An employee who is improperly classified as an independent contractor, but treated like an employee, may be entitled to compensation.
Employees are also entitled to uninterrupted meals and rest breaks during their workday.