Wage and Hour FAQs
Wage and hour is a complex area of law that governs issues about how much you should be paid and whether you are entitled to breaks while working. Here are some helpful wage and hour FAQs to guide you. At The Nourmand Law Firm, our Los Angeles wage law attorneys can provide more precise information about wage and hour law as it relates to your specific situation.
- Who Must be Paid Minimum Wage?
- Does my Employer Need to Pay Me Overtime?
- Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
- Do I Get Special Holiday or Weekend Pay Under the Law?
- Am I Entitled to Meal Periods or Rest Breaks?
- May my Employer Pay Me Less Than an Employee of the Opposite Sex for the Same Work?
Almost all employees must be paid minimum wage in California under state law. As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage is $10.50 per hour for employees who work for an entity with at least 26 employees, but this wage will increase on an annual basis. There are certain scheduled increases based on how many employees your employer has. However, there are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as outside salespeople and regularly indentured apprentices under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.
If you are a nonexempt employee who is at least 18 years old, or you are a minor who is 16 or 17 and not required to attend school or otherwise prohibited from working, you are not supposed to work more than eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek unless you are being paid overtime. Overtime is one and one-half times your regular rate of pay for all hours that you work beyond eight hours in a workday and 40 hours in a workweek. Additional rules apply if you work more than eight hours in a workday or more than six days in a workweek. There are several exemptions in the overtime law, so it is important to go beyond these wage and hour FAQs and consult an attorney if you believe that you are not being paid overtime appropriately.
Different factors are used to define an “independent contractor” or an “employee” in California, so we would need to look at your specific circumstances. The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement starts by presuming that you are an employee under Labor Code section 3357. However, your employer may provide evidence to rebut that, so your particular situation will be reviewed on the basis of the “multifactor or “economic realities” test. The most significant factor in the economic realities test is whether the principal (the entity to which you gave service) has a right to control the work being done and how it is performed.
Other factors that may be considered include whether you are engaged in an occupation that is distinct from the principal’s occupation, whether the work that you performed is part of the principal’s regular business, whether you used your own tools, whether special skills were needed, whether you had an opportunity for profit or loss, whether the work is usually done under the direction of a principal, how long the services were performed, how permanent the work relationship was, how payment was made, and whether the parties believed that an employer-employee relationship was created. Generally, you will be considered an employee if the principal retains control of the operation as a whole, your duties are an integral part of the principal’s operations, and the nature of the work makes it unnecessary for the entity to take detailed control.
If you work on a Saturday, Sunday, or recognized holiday, it is treated the same way as hours worked on other days. There is no requirement that your employer needs to give you paid holidays or that you should be given the day off for a particular holiday.
In California, if you work more than five hours a day, you are entitled to a meal period of at least 30 minutes that should be taken in the middle of each work period. This rest period is based on how many hours you work each day, and it should be at least 10 minutes in a row for each four-hour block of work or fraction of that. However, you are not entitled to a rest period if your total daily work time for a particular employer is less than three and a half hours.
The California Fair Pay Act requires equal pay for employees who do substantially similar work. It was enacted to make sure that any legitimate factors used by an employer to provide different pay based on something other than sex are applied reasonably and account for the whole pay difference.
Wage and hour is a complicated area of law, and if you believe that your employer is not paying you fairly, you should not only explore these wage and hour FAQs but also consult a Los Angeles attorney. The Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for compensation. We strive to provide tenacious legal representation to employees in Vernon, City of Commerce, Montebello, Alhambra, Anaheim, Inglewood, Downey, Valencia, Ventura, Santa Ana, Van Nuys, Palm Springs, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino, as well as other cities in San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange counties. Contact us online or at 800-700-WAGE (9243) for a free appointment with a class action lawyer or assistance with an individual claim.