Minimum Wage Law in California

California, known for its progressive employment laws, has minimum wage regulations that often provide greater protections than federal laws. In this article, we’ll delve into minimum wage law in California, how it applies to employees, and what you can do if you’re a victim of a minimum wage violation.

Remember, knowledge is power. Keep yourself informed, and don’t hesitate to contact Bibiyan Law Group, P.C., if you believe your employer violated your rights. Understanding the nuances of California minimum wage law can be complex, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. If you have questions or need to report a violation, Bibiyan Law Group, P.C. can help you. Contact us today!

What is the Minimum Wage Law in California?

In California, laws that link minimum wages to the cost of living determine the minimum wage amount. This means that wages increase along with inflation so that workers earn fair pay. Currently, the federal minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour. As of 2023, the minimum wage rate for all-sized employers in California is $15.50

Many California cities and counties have legislated minimum wage laws above the Golden State’s minimum. Some cities have minimum wages of $16 or more, including Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, and San Francisco. You can check UC Berkeley’s California City and County Current Minimum Wages list to see how your city fares.

Are There Exceptions to the California Employee Minimum Wage?

Not all employees are entitled to minimum wage. Certain workers, such as salaried professionals, student workers, and salespeople, are considered “exempt” from minimum wage laws. It’s important to consult an experienced employment lawyer who understands California’s exemption allowances because different exemptions apply to different categories of employees and organizations.

What is the Minimum Wage for Remote Employees?

The increase in remote work in California has led to concerns about wage laws for remote employees. However, in California, if you are a remote worker based in the state, your employer must comply with California’s minimum wage laws regardless of your location. Remote workers have the same employee rights as those who work in an office.

How Do I Report Minimum Wage Violations?

If you believe your employer is violating minimum wage laws, take the following steps.

Collect Evidence to Support Your Claim

Collecting evidence to support your wage violation claim is critical to ensuring a strong case. Gather all evidence related to your work hours and payments, including:

  • Timecards,
  • Pay stubs,
  • Bank statements,
  • Work schedules,
  • Third-party witness statements,
  • Correspondence with your employer, and
  • Company policies or employee handbooks.

Adequate documentation will lend credibility to your claims and provide a factual basis for subsequent investigations or legal proceedings.

Report the Violation to Human Resources

Depending on the situation and circumstances, the first step is to report the issue to your human resources department. Companies often prefer to resolve problems internally before they escalate. Many companies also require employees to report grievances internally before taking external action.

Report the Violation to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office

If internal reporting doesn’t resolve the issue, or if you’re uncomfortable reporting it to human resources, you can file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. After your claim is filed and processed, the Labor Commissioner’s Office will notify your employer about the claim and may ask for their response. The office may conduct an investigation or schedule an initial conference to gather more information from both parties. 

If the Office can’t resolve your case through an investigation or during your conference, it will go to a formal hearing where you and your employer will present your claims. After the hearing, the Labor Commissioner will issue a decision, which either party can appeal. Also, there is a three-year time limit for filing wage claims known as the statute of limitations, so filing as quickly as possible is essential.

File a Lawsuit to Recover Lost Wages

Filing a lawsuit in court is another option if internal reporting and administrative avenues don’t resolve your wage and hour issues. An employment law attorney can help assess the strength of your case, explore your options, and guide you through the steps of a potential lawsuit.

Why Choose Bibiyan Law Group, PC?

At Bibiyan Law Group, P.C., we believe employers should treat all employees fairly and with dignity. We are aggressive litigators who don’t just make demands—we take action. Our team has helped countless employees and recovered millions of dollars on their behalf. Now, let us help you secure a just resolution. Contact us to explore your options if you believe you’ve suffered a minimum wage violation.

Author Photo

David Bibiyan is a distinguished attorney at Tomorrow Law, renowned for his expertise in employment law. With a strong focus on representing employees in various workplace disputes, he has become a trusted advocate for those facing discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour issues. Bibiyan’s approach is characterized by a deep understanding of both state and federal employment laws, ensuring that his clients receive knowledgeable and effective representation. His commitment to justice is evident in his dedication to each case, where he meticulously works to secure the best possible outcomes for his clients. Bibiyan’s reputation is built on a foundation of successful case resolutions, marked by his skillful negotiation and, when necessary, aggressive litigation strategies. His work at Tomorrow Law reflects a genuine passion for defending workers’ rights and promoting fair employment practices.

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