Employment Law

Wages and Hours in California

Wages and Hours in the State of California

California along with three other states -Alaska, Colorado, and Nevada- allow overtime to be calculated within the hours worked in a day.  California wages and laws require that employees get a 1.5 rate for more than 8 hours but less than 12 hours per day or 40 hours per week. There is a double rate for those that go over 12 hours per day or more than 8 hours on the 7th consecutive workday. California gives a 30 minute or an hour unpaid meal per 5 hours of work and a 10-minute rest break per 4 hours of work. If any overtime or other wages are unpaid then the State of California Labor Code requires employers to double the amount of unpaid wages and triple the amount if it is not paid within 10 days of ruling.

Minimum Wage

The California minimum wage as of January 1, 2020 is $12 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $13 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. By the year of 2022 the state minimum wage should reach $15 per hour.


This law only applies to non-exempt employees and employers may not get around by requiring or pressuring employees to work off the clock. Employers must pay their employers “time and a half” which is one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any work in excess of 8 hours in one workday or 40 hours in one workweek.

California’s wage and labor laws require employers to pay employees “double time” which is twice their regular rate for any extra 12 hours in one workday or extra 8 hours on the 7th day of a workweek.

Meal Breaks

If a non-exempt employee works more than 5 hours in a workday, they need to be given a meal break of at least 30 minutes. If the employee will work no more than 6 hours in the day then they may sign a waiver to not take a meal break.

For those who work more than 10 hours in a day then they must be given a second meal break; however, the employee may sign a waiver to not take a second meal.

During meal and rest breaks the employee should not perform any duties or be on call.

Common Violations in California

As an employee of California, you have the legal right for compensation if your employer violates the wages and hours law in the State of California. The most common laws employers violate are:

  • Not paying the minimum wage
  • Not paying overtime
  • Requiring employees to work off the clock
  • Not providing the necessary meal and rest breaks
  • Misclassifying employees as exempt from wage and hour requirements
  • Misclassifying employees as independent contractors

Need an Attorney?

If you have any questions regarding a violation that you are or may have experienced in your work, please contact our employment and labor law attorneys at Mesriani Law Group. They are professionals and have dealt with cases like these in Los Angeles and around California. They are here to help you and fight for the justice you deserve.

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