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Minimum wage is the lowest amount of compensation an employee should get from his or her employees. It is the minimum amount an employee should be paid for by his or her employer for work done by the hour. Getting paid any lower than the mandated minimum wage is considered illegal. The salary amount of which an employee must be paid varies as wage and hour laws and salary labor laws differ from a federal level to a state level.
What is the Wage & Hour Law?
Wage and hour laws are statutes that regulate the wage rates in which a company should compensate its workers. These statutes also state the hours for which an employer must compensate their employees. These laws also include overtime laws, child labor laws, and meal and break laws. One of the most well-known wage and hour laws are minimum wage laws as well as overtime laws.
What is the Federal Minimum Wage Salary Per Year?
Employees have the right to earn at least $7.25 per hour under the federal wage and hour laws. Assuming an employee works 40 hours per week and 52 weeks per year, this equates to a $15,080 minimum wage salary per year. The federal minimum wage salary is enforced by the Fair Pay Act or more formally known as the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
What is the State Minimum Wage for California?
Minimum wages vary on a state level. For the state of California, the state Labor Code requires employers to pay their employees at an increasing rate until the year 2023. Under current California wage and hour laws and as of the 1st of January, 2019 workers are entitled to receive $11.00 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees and $12.00 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees. By the year 2020, the California minimum wage is expected to increase by a dollar each per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and employers with more than 25 employees.
By 2023, the minimum wage rate is expected to increase and stay at $15.00 per hour for both types of employers. After 2023, the state’s minimum wage will be adjusted automatically using a formula which utilizes the consumer price index. However, in any given year, when the governor determines that certain economic conditions do not warrant a scheduled increase, the governor may temporarily suspend the minimum wage increase for that year.
Minimum Wage Law Exceptions
The minimum wage does not apply to particular California employees. These exceptions include the following:
Disabled employees may be compensated with a special wage license set by the Labor Commission for a period of one year. This license is subject to both approval and renewal by the Labor Commission.
For employees of certain non-profit organizations that have special Labor Commission authorized licenses, they can be paid less than the mandated minimum wage. The rate of which the wage is set is determined by the Labor Commission. This type of wage exception is also given to those who run rehabilitation facilities, shelters, and workshops.
For employees that can be categorized as workers that have no similar or related experience, they may be paid 85% of the minimum wage during the first 160 hours of their employment.
The camp employee minimum wage is similar to learner employees wage rates. Camp employees such as student employees, program counselors, and camp counselors may also be paid at least 85% of the state-mandated minimum wage.
Immediate Family Members
For an employer’s immediate family members, minimum wage laws and regulations do not apply. Immediate family members include an employer’s parents, spouses, children, or the employer’s legally adopted children.
Outside salespersons or employees who spend more than half of their working hours away from an employer’s place of business selling services or goods may be exempt from minimum wage laws. Outside sales employees must first meet particular requirements before getting exempted.
Can Employers be Sued for Wage & Hour Law Violations?
As mentioned earlier, wage and hour laws are governed by both federal and state laws. Therefore, any violation of these laws is considered illegal and is liable for a lawsuit. Some of its examples include the following scenarios:
- Salary below minimum wage
- Break time prohibitions
- Unpaid “off-the-clock” work
- Unpaid work-related travel time
- Unpaid work-related preparations (such as putting on and taking off safety or other work-related gear or uniform)
- Unpaid untaken or accrued vacation leaves
- Leave prohibitions
These scenarios along with many other wage-related violations can hold companies or employers accountable and liable for wage and hour law violations. It is highly advisable to ask for legal help such as employing wage and hour law attorneys in your area to correctly identify and combat wage and hour law violations.
Seek Legal Aid from Top California Wage and Hour Law Attorneys
A minimum wage law case is a highly complicated and difficult matter to handle. As with most cases, an employer may have a legal team that is adept in denying employee claims and protecting their clients from liabilities. Handling these cases and reaching for a settlement alone will leave you at a distinct disadvantage. Therefore, seeking the advice and proper legal representation from an experienced employment law attorney is the best course of action in fighting for just compensation from your employer. With an expert minimum wage law attorney, you may get a fair settlement and all also ensuring that your case progresses accordingly.
Mesriani Law Group is one of the top employment law and personal injury law firms in the state of California. Having won over 100 million dollars of recovery amount for their clients, Mesriani Law Group also employs top-notch wage and hour law attorneys in their roster that are readily available to advance your case. Make the right decision and seek legal help from top California wage and hour law attorneys. Contact the Mesriani Law Group now for a free consultation.