Changes to California's Minimum Wage Law

With a few limited exceptions, nearly all California employees must be paid minimum wage as required under state law. As of January 1, 2016, California’s minimum wage is $10.00 per hour. However, there are certain types of employees who are exempt from the minimum wage requirement, including:

  • Outside salespeople;
  • The employee’s parent, spouse, or child;
  • Learners (regardless of age);
  • Mentally or physically disabled employees, including those who work for nonprofits, such as rehab facilities or sheltered workshops; and
  • An apprentice indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

Is there a difference between the state and minimum wage? The majority of California employers are subject to state and federal minimum wage laws. Due to this dual coverage and the conflicting requirements, employers must abide by stricter standards, which is actually beneficial to the employee.

Since California’s current law sets forth a higher minimum wage than the federal law, California employers must follow both laws and must pay the state minimum wage, unless their employee is legally exempt under state law.

Can California employees agree to work for less than minimum wage? This is a good question, and the answer is NO.

Employers are obligated to pay their employees the minimum wage, and under no circumstances can an employer waive this obligation by making an agreement with their employee, and this includes a collective bargaining agreement.

What if the employee is a minor, can a minor be paid less than the minimum wage? No, they cannot.

Under California law, there is no distinction between an adult and a minor when it comes to minimum wage and paying them for work performed.

What about servers who work in restaurants? If you work as a server, can your employer use your tips as a credit towards their obligation to pay you minimum wage? No, your employer cannot use any of your tips towards their obligation to pay you minimum wage and don’t let them tell you otherwise!

Not receiving minimum wage?

What can you do if you’re not receiving minimum wage? You can contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC to file a wage claim or a lawsuit against your employer to recover the wages that you have lost.

If you don’t work for the employer any longer, you can file a claim for the “waiting time penalty” under Labor Code Section 203.

Don’t wait any longer, contact us to speak with an experienced Los Angeles employment law attorney for free. Get a Harvard lawyer on your side!