Failing To Abide By California’s Wage and Hour Laws Could Be An Expensive Protestation.

Not long ago a company in San Diego was fine over 1.1 million dollars in back wages, and damages.  Employer’s need to understand that it no longer pays to violate the wage and hour laws here in California. California is one of the top five litigious states in the union.

This particular company did just about everything wrong, they failed to pay minimum wage correctly, they failed to pay overtime properly.  

While we are here let’s take a quick look at some of the basics of the California Wage and Hour Laws.  Each employee must be paid minimum wage unless they are in school working on the side, or on an apprentice program.

Overtime:

Any time that an employee works over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week overtime must be paid.  The rate for overtime is time and a half.  Any hours worked 12 and above in a day must be paid at double time.  If the employee works 7 days in a row the first 8 hours are to be paid at time and a half, and after 8 the rate of pay is double time.  Should you have some questions on overtime here a great link for you to check out http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_overtime.htm.In case you think that this will never happen to you, I would encourage you to take a quick look at the following video.

Employee Provided Tools:California Labor Laws For Tools

If you require your employee to bring their own tools you must pay them double the minimum wage.  This happens a lot in the automotive repair industry, as well as construction.  Many employers are not really aware of this law even though it has been on the books for years.  This violation is usually discovered when an employee becomes aware of the law and after talking with the employer, the employer fails to take any action, so the employee does take action. Employers need to know that there can be major penalties to all wage and hour violations.

Clocking in and clocking out:  

Once your employee arrives at the job site they are on company time.  Employers are not permitted to have the employee report to work early for the purpose of getting dressed and then punch in.  

If you require your employees to wear uniforms, you should have them get dressed in their uniforms at home and come to work dressed and ready to punch in.  The same can be said for having employees clock out and then stick around and continue to do work for the company.

Employee Handbooks:

Your employee handbook should spell out you companies overtime policies.  Some companies require employees to work overtime, while other companies allow employees to either work overtime or not.  All of that along with when your pay days are should be posted on your state and federal postings and stated in your employee handbook.

Separation of Employment:  

Should you terminate an employee you need to have their paycheck ready for them at the end of the business day.  Should an employee quit you have 72 hours to provide the employee with a check.