FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WAGE
AND HOUR LAWS IN CALIFORNIA
1. Minimum Wage
The minimum wage for California is:
Rate (Jan. 1) 26 Employees or More 25 Employees or Less
2017 $10.50 $10.00
2018 $11.00 $10.50
2019 $12.00 $11.00
2020 $13.00 $12.00
2021 $14.00 $13.00
2022 $15.00 $14.00
2023 $15.00 $15.00
There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law,
such as outside salespersons, individuals who are the parent, spouse, or
child of the employer, and apprentices regularly indentured under the
State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.
Minors and some individuals in training can be paid less than the
minimum wage, within limits. Even employees who are paid by the piece
or on commission must be paid an amount equivalent to the minimum
wage for hours worked.
2. Meal and Break Periods
Employees must be given a 30-minute, unpaid meal period for every 5
hours worked in a day. Employees must also be given a 10-minute paid
rest break for every 4 hours worked in a day.
3. Uniforms and Equipment
Clothing and equipment required by the job must be paid for the
employer. An employer cannot deduct the cost of uniforms or equipment
from the employee's pay, but the employer can require a reasonable
4. Food, Lodging and Transportation
An employer providing food, lodging or transportation to an employee
cannot credit the value of these items toward the requirement to pay
minimum wage without the voluntary, written agreement of the employee.
5. Overtime Pay
California law provides for daily overtime pay of 1.5 times the regular
wage after 8 hours worked in a day, and 2 times the regular wage after
12 hours worked in a day, and after 40 hours in a work week.
6. Records of Hours Worked
Employers must keep records of each employee of daily hours worked
and rate of pay. If your employer does not keep accurate records and
you have a dispute about hours worked, the Labor Commissioner will
accept your own records as evidence.
7. Holiday, Vacation, and Sick Pay
Employers are not legally obligated to provide holidays, vacation or sick
days. However, if your employer has promised to give you such days off
with pay or has been in the practice of doing so, you may be able to
enforce payment as verbal, written, or implied contract in court.
8. Final Pay
If you are fired or laid off from your job, all wages (including accrued,
unpaid vacation time) should be paid in full at time of termination. If you
quit your job and give more than 72 hours' notice, all wages should be
paid at the time you leave your job.
9. Violations of the Law/ Unpaid Wages
If you think you employer has violated any of these laws or that you may
be owed unpaid wages, you can file a claim against your employer.
Please contact our office to discuss your case.
It is illegal for an employer to fire or discriminate against anyone who
reports a violation of the wage and hour laws to the Labor Commissioner.
If you wish to discuss your case with us, please call us at 805-644-1071.