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What is Minimum Wage Violation in California?

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Most states have a minimum wage law that dictates the lowest amount that an employee can be paid on a per hour basis. For states that don’t have a minimum wage mandate, employers must adhere to the federal minimum wage.

In California, all employers must comply with the state’s minimum wage laws.


Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for employers with less than 25 employees.


California Minimum Wage

California labor laws generally provide employees with better protection than federal laws. While federal laws are the minimum standard, state laws can add additional protection. Employers must comply with both.

As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in California is $12.00 per hour for employers with 25 employees or less. The minimum wage is $13.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.

Additionally, employers must pay eligible, nonexempt employees overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate. Overtime pay covers any time worked more than eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Employers must pay overtime wages no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the overtime was earned.


Los Angeles Minimum Wage

Many cities and counties in California can also set a higher minimum wage. In Los Angeles, the minimum wage has been increased each year since 2016 until it will reach $15.00 per hour in 2021.

As of July 1, 2020, the minimum wage for employers with more than 26 employees is $15.00 per hour. For employers with less than 26 employees, the minimum age is $14.25 per hour.


Recovery for Minimum Wage Violations

If your employer paid you less than minimum wage, you can file a lawsuit to recover lost wages.

A common remedy for minimum wage violation is “back pay.” “Back pay” is the difference between the amount an employee was paid and the amount she or he should have been paid.

You could also be eligible to receive interest on that amount and attorney fees. Additionally, the employer could be fined with a civil penalty of $100 for the initial pay period of violation. The employer could also face a $250 penalty for each succeeding pay period of violation (intentional or unintentional).

It’s important to know that your employer cannot retaliate against you for inquiring about not being paid minimum wage. If your employer retaliates or discriminates against you for doing so, you can file a discrimination or retaliation complaint.


Consult with our Minimum Wage Lawyer Today

If you’ve been paid less than minimum wage, don’t hesitate to speak with a labor law attorney about your potential case. We are confident that our experienced employment attorneys can obtain the maximum compensation for your case and offer a “no win, no fee” guarantee. Contact Mesriani Law Group today for your free legal consultation and let us help you get the justice you deserve.

About the Author
Rodney Mesriani
Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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