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Automobile Lemon Law

Minimum Wage

Overtime Law

I am not being paid minimum wage or overtime. What are my rights?  

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay a minimum wage of $7.25/hr to their employees. However, this is the minimum and each state can set its own minimum wage requirements which can be higher than the federally required minimum wage.

Because the cost of living is so high in California, California law has a higher minimum wage requirement. As of 2019, California companies who have up to 25 employees must pay their employees a minimum of $11.00/hr. For large companies, those with more than 25 employees, they must pay a minimum of $12.00/hr. These requirements will increase in 2020 to $12.00/hr and $13.00/hr respectively. And the increase will occur each year until 2023, when it will be required that all California employers pay their employees a minimum of $15.00/hr.


The FSLA and California Labor law both require that employers pay their employees time and a half if they work more than 40 hours per week. For example: if you make $20/hr and work 41 hours in a week, you are entitled to be paid $30 for the 41st hour you work.

California law also has a daily overtime standard. It entitles employees to time and a half if they work more than 8 hours in a day, regardless of whether they work 40 hours in the week. It also entitles employees to double time after they work more than 12 hours in a day. For example: if you make $20/hr and work 13hrs in one day, but don’t work the rest of the week, you are entitled to $320 pay for you one day of work. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • First 8 hrs of work: $20/hr x 8 hrs = $160

  • Hours 9-12 of work (time and a half): $30/hr x 4hr = $120

  • Hour 13 of work (double time): $40/hr x 1hr = $40

  • Total: $320.00 earned

It should be noted that not all employees are entitled to overtime. There certain types of employees that are “exempt” from overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. These are special categories of employees whose jobs must meet certain defined criteria. The following types of employees may not be subject to overtime pay requirements:

  • Executive employees

  • Administrative employees

  • Outside sales people

  • Professional employees

  • Computer employees

  • Highly compensated employees


Because the minimum wage and overtime laws are complex, companies and business frequently do not pay their employees what they are entitled to. For example, many employees do not know whether their companies have 25 employees or more. So a company with 27 employees may cheat and pay their employees the $11.00/hr minimum wage which is applicable to companies with 25 or fewer employees, rather than paying their employees the $12.00/hr minimum wage. This is a violation of law, but the individual employee many not realize it because he does not know how many employees work for the company.

Another example is a frequently occurring tactic employers use to avoid paying overtime. Let’s say you work 40hrs per week. On Wednesday, your boss needs to stay a 2 hours extra. He asks you to stay and work 10hrs that day but says tomorrow you can leave 2 hours early, so at the end of the week you still have worked a total of 40 hours total. Your company pays your regular pay for a 40 hour work week. However, this is illegal. Since you worked 10 hours on Wednesday, you are entitled to being paid time and a half for those two hours. So your pay check for the weeks should include two hours of overtime premium but it doesn’t. Employers use this tactic frequently because they make employees think they are not entitled to overtime since they’ve still only worked 40 hours total for the week.


These are just a couple of ways that employers try to get around paying an employee what they truly are due. However, their actions constitute “wage theft” and are illegal. Our firm is familiar with the schemes companies use to try and illegally pay their employees less. Even if your short pay was an accident, and not intentional on the part of your employer, it doesn’t matter. You are still being cheated out of your rightful pay. If you feel that you have not been properly compensated by your employer or you have any questions, please contact us today. We’ll speak to you free of charge, will evaluate your case, and will advise you of your rights. 

For additional information on California’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, you can also reference the California Labor Code 1182.12, California’s department of industrial relations, or the wage and hour division of the federal department of labor.

Thank you for submitting your inquiry. A firm member will contact you to follow up shortly after we review your information to see if we can assist you. If you do not receive a response within 48 hours, please call our firm to ensure your message was received. 

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