What is the California Minimum Wage Law All About?

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Both the federal and state labor laws set a minimum wage. Generally, all employees working in California are entitled to receive hourly rate not less than the prescribed minimum wage. Over the past years, California minimum wage has constantly been greater than the federally-mandated minimum wage. Except for some cities and business areas where a minimum wage ordinance is in effect, the California minimum wage is currently at $8.00 per hour. This means that full-time minimum wage employees in California must earn no less than $320.00 per week or roughly $16,640.00 annually (based on a regular 8 hours, 5 days per workweek schedule) before taxes.
The California minimum wage law protects employees from unjust compensation. Specifically, the law mandates that any work rendered beyond the prescriptive eight hours per workday or beyond the 40 hours per workweek shall be compensated one and one-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate. In addition, any work rendered beyond 12 hours per workday or beyond the seventh day of the workweek shall be compensated at least twice the employee’s regular hourly rate.
However, California Labor Code provides exemptions for employees working under alternative workweek schedule that is duly approved by the California Labor Commission. Certain occupations and employees, including learners, individuals with severe mental or physical disabilities, apprentices, and tipped workers, may be exempt from the California Minimum Wage Law.
Under the California Labor Code, employees who feel under-compensated may file a lawsuit to claim unpaid minimum wages. Should the court find the employer’s direct neglect of his obligations, the worker may be entitled to claim unpaid wages and interest accrued thereon, compensation for legal expenses, and liquidated damages, specifically mandated in the California Labor Code Section 1194.2.
In order to make a successful wage claim, aggrieved employees may need the expertise of a California Wage Law Attorney. Usually, labor claims take a long process and often requires qualified legal professional for proper interpretation of the law. To avoid ending up in negotiations, where employees are often at the short end of the stick, hiring a California Wage Law Attorney is highly recommended

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