Successful California business owners readily admit that ensuring compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations is much more than just good business practice. Rather, it is an essential component of business operations. So much so, that a business can succeed or fail based solely on its level of commitment to regulatory compliance.
A Quick Refresher for Employers
California businesses with employees must adhere to all of the “regular” regulations PLUS the state’s complex and vitally-important wage and hour rules. Businesses subject to this intricate regulatory framework need to know:
what rules apply,
what the rules mean,
what the rules require (and/or prohibit), and
what penalties are possible in instances of noncompliance.
The stakes are very high. The rules and regulations are difficult to navigate. This combination makes it vitally important that employers seek legal counsel as early in the process as possible. Work with an experienced and reputable employment lawyer who stays current on developments in the law, and who understands your goals as a business owner and employer.
Some of the important issues that an employment lawyer can help you handle include the laws and regulations governing:
How and when employees must be paid
Specific benefits and break times that employees are entitled to receive
The sorts of conduct and behavior that employers must never engage in with employees, or perform around employees
And so much more
We have compiled a few of California’s important wage and hour laws that you, as an employer, should know (and not forget!)
Minimum Wage Rules:
Employers With 26 or More Employees:
Beginning January 1, 2017, California increased the minimum hourly wage for employers with 26+ employees to $10.50. This amount will increase by an increment of $0.50 every January until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 in January 2022.
Employers with 25 or Less Employees:
The annual increase in the minimum wage for this group of employers will not begin until January 1, 2018. The current minimum wage of $10.00 will increase by an increment of $0.50 annually until a minimum wage of $15.00 is reached.
******Note: Some cities in California (such as Los Angeles and San Diego to name a couple) have established a minimum wage that is higher than state-ordered minimum wage. Make sure you know if your city has such an ordinance.
Workers Doing the Same Job: PAY THEM THE SAME!
California’s Equal Pay Act established regulations prohibiting employers from paying lesser wages to a particular employee who performs the same job as another employee based solely on gender.
In 2015, the state legislature enacted The California Fair Pay Act, which expanded the scope of the Equal Pay Act by mandating employers to pay an equal amount of wages to those employees who perform substantially similar work (rather than just the “same” work).
California’s rules on overtime apply to all non-exempt employees over the age 18 (and in some circumstances, 16- and 17-year olds).
California’s approach on overtime compensation is distinct from those of other states as well as the federal government because California has enacted a daily overtime rule as well as a weekly overtime rule.
All employees (non-exempt that is) are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week OR if they work more than eight hours per day.
California’s established rate of overtime pay is 1 ½ times the rate of regular pay.
Experienced Employment Law Attorneys in Southern California
At CKB Vienna LLP, our labor and employment attorneys specialize in helping employers become compliant - and remain in compliant - with applicable laws such as the Golden State’s all-important and ever-so-complex wage and hour laws. Our goal is to get your business to where it needs to be in order to avoid penalties, fines, or any other problems. Our proactive approach focuses on preventing problems before they arise.
However, despite best efforts, you may find yourself faced with claims of noncompliance by the government or subject to a lawsuit by an employee. We have the experience and track record to help. To learn more, contact us today by calling 909-980-1040 or filling out our short online form. We have locations in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles.