The California Labor Code provides various protections to employees, including the right to overtime for certain employees, as well as and meal and rest periods. All of these elements may be included in unpaid wages claims.
Your rights to overtime compensation, meal, and rest periods depend on whether you are a non-exempt employee. While the test of whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt is complicated, most exempt employees are relatively highly-paid executives, professionals and administrative employees who exercise independent judgment and discretion. Some computer professionals and salespeople are also exempt. Most other employees, including most hourly workers, are non-exempt. Being paid a salary and the job title of "manager" does not mean that you are necessarily exempt. The exempt vs. non-exempt inquiry involves your actual job duties and whether you are paid at least two times the minimum wage for full time employment.
Overtime compensation must be paid to non-exempt employees who work more than 8 hours during any workday, or more than 40 hours during any workweek. California law provides that the employee shall be paid 1.5 times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours, up to and including 12 hours during a single workday, or for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work. For any time worked in excess of 12 hours during a single workday, or for any time worked in excess of 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work during a workweek, an employee must be paid double their regular rate of pay. It is important to seek legal advice from an unpaid wages lawyer promptly if you think you may have not been paid earned wages, including overtime, to preserve your right to the maximum recovery possible.
Meal and Rest Periods must be provided to non-exempt employees. Under California law, non-exempt employees are entitled to a 10 minute rest break for every four hours worked. These employees must also be given a meal break of at least 30 minutes for any work period of more than 5 hours during a workday. During a rest or meal period, employees must be relieved of all job duties.
Our unpaid wages lawyers have assisted scores of employees to recover their unpaid wages, overtime and penalties. Contact Kelley•Semmel, LLP today and let’s find out together if you have a claim for unpaid wages.