Legal Blogs

5 Key Wage and Hour Rules Employers Must be Aware Of

An Irvine employment lawyer must be aware of rules that govern the employment relationship. Our legal team can work closely with you to ensure that you do not run afoul of any of these rules so you can avoid facing penalties and consequences for failure to comply with California or federal law. Irvine Employment Lawyer

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP provides comprehensive help to employers with understanding all of the myriad obligations imposed upon them. California is very protective of the rights of workers and your business could be in serious legal jeopardy if you do not understand and follow the rules that apply to what you pay your worker and when.

There are many different regulations our firm will help you to ensure you are in compliance with, including the following five key wage and hour rules.

Minimum Wage Requirements

In California, minimum wage for employers who have 26 or more staff members went up starting on January 1, 2017. For smaller employees with fewer than 25 workers, minimum wage is also going to rise, but the increases won’t begin until January 1, 2018.

Larger employers now are required to pay a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour, up from the prior state minimum wage of $10.00 hourly which still applies to smaller companies. Each year through January 2022 for larger employers and January 2023 for smaller employers, minimum wage will rise $0.50 each year.

These annual increases will continue until there is a statewide minimum wage of $15 per hour. Already, some counties have higher minimum wages established by ordinance, so you should check with an attorney to find out what the minimum wage is where your company operates.

Rules for Employee Overtime

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, all 16 and 17 year old workers who are working and aren’t attending school as well as all non-exempt employees aged 18 or over should be entitled to overtime if they exceed a certain number of hours worked per day and per week.

California workers can receive overtime for any day they work more than 8 hours. They can also receive overtime for any week in which they work more than 40 hours. Overtime is paid at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for each staff member who earns overtime.

Fair Pay Rules

If there are two workers who are doing the same basic job, California’s Equal Pay Act requires that these two workers earn the same basic pay for the equal work they are performing. The California Fair Pay Act strengthened equal pay laws when it was signed in October of 2015, requiring that employers pay the same amount for substantially similar work, not only for work that is equal.

The Equal Pay Act and the Fair Pay Act are both aimed at protecting employees from being discriminated against on the basis of sex. Employers cannot pay a male and female worker who are doing the same job differently, and employers who do have pay discrepancies will need to show a legitimate bona fide factor other than gender to explain why one staff member is paid less than another for similar work.

Payments Usually Must be Made Bi-Monthly

Workers in California are generally required to receive pay at least twice monthly, with some limited exceptions. Employers must pay workers on designated pay days and those pay days must be on a regular schedule. Notification must be posted within each worksite indicating when employees will be paid and where paychecks will be received.

An Employee is Entitled to Immediate Payment of Final Wages

When an employee is terminated, the worker is entitled by law to receive all of his or her final wages upon involuntarily leaving the company. A worker must be paid unpaid wages and must be paid the value of accrued vacation time as well. In circumstances when a group of seasonal employees all have their employment end at the same time, these seasonal workers must be paid within 72 hours of being laid off.

Getting Help from An Irvine Employment Lawyer

An Irvine employment lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide personalized help with complying with these wage and hour rules and can offer assistance understanding the other California and federal laws that govern your relationship with staff members.

Don’t take a chance of facing adverse legal action and incurring significant financial penalties. Reach out to Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to discover more about the ways in which our experienced legal team can help your business to ensure you are following the letter of the law when it comes to wages and other aspects of the work environment you provide to staff members.