At SDCL we provide San Diego County’s individuals and businesses with a variety of services in wage and hour law. Labor law and wage and hour law are
exceptionally complex. The consequences of failing to comply with wage and hour rules are severe. Businesses should consult a labor attorney prior to hiring any employee. An employee should consult with a labor and employment attorney if he or she thinks that a labor code violation as occurred.
California has extremely protective laws governing the payment of overtime. An employee must be paid his or her regular hourly rate for the first eight hours of a work day. Absent certain exceptions, any time worked between eight and twelve hours must be paid at one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. Any time worked twelve or more hours must be paid at twice the employee’s regular rate of pay. Even though an employee is salaried he or she may still be entitled to overtime compensation. There are severe penalties for nonpayment of overtime thus San Diego County and Carlsbad employees and employers should consult with an attorney with any potential wage and hour issues.
Employers are required to pay their employees for all time spent working. This means that employees are “on the clock” when they are engaged in an activity which benefits the employer. Requiring employees to clock out and continue working, “working off the clock,” is illegal. In California, San Diego included, there are significant penalties associated with such practices thus employers need to be aware of potential pitfalls and employees need to remain aware of their rights.
In California, including San Diego, an employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than thirty minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee. A second meal period of not less than thirty minutes is required if an employee works more than ten hours per day, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived. As with rest period violations, employers who prohibit employees from taking their meal breaks face steep statutory fines paid to the employees and civil fines paid to the State of California.
Absent specific exceptions, California law requires that employers must allow nonexempt employees to take a rest period of ten minutes for every four hours worked. Whether a rest break has been prohibited by the employer or whether the employee merely chose not to take his/her break is generally a point of contention which should be evaluated by an attorney. There are significant statutory and civil penalties to employers who prohibit employees from taking their rest breaks. The law in this area is unclear and evolving thus San Diego county employees and employers should consult with an attorney when evaluating any claims for missed or denied rest breaks.
- Unpaid Wage
- Unpaid Bonus
- Minimum Wage Compensation