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California Wage & Hour Law for Alameda County

Law:

For:

Alameda County Minimum Wage

Learn about minimum wage and how to make a wage claim in Alameda County.

What You Need to Know About California Minimum Wage, Overtime, and Other Wage Claims

You can recover unpaid wages, overtime, and tips in California if you know your rights and how to enforce them. Does your employer owe you unpaid wages or overtime? Or, maybe you need information on the breaks you’re entitled to, overtime rules, or your right to tips. If so, you'll find the information you need on this site to learn what you can do in California to get the money you have earned.

Here, we answer many common questions about wage and hour law in California, including:

A few things to keep in mind as you explore this site:

1. Wage and hour laws differ from state to state.

Most states have enacted their own wage and hour regulations and procedures for employees to follow if they have been treated unfairly. These regulations and procedures vary from state to state. Start by finding out about your rights to pay in California.

2. Some states simply adopt the federal minimum wage and overtime standards.

The U.S. Department of Labor  covers minimum wage, overtime, and other wage and hour matters. In states that have not adopted their own wage and hour regulations and procedures, your rights are set out by the U.S. Department of Labor. Check California Department of Industrial Relations to find out more.

3. You are entitled to certain payments when your employment ends.

Your final paycheck must include certain amounts, regardless of whether you resigned, were laid off, or were fired. Find out whether your former employer met California’s final paycheck requirements.

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Free Overtime Case Evaluation For Alameda County, CA

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Am I Entitled to Minimum Wage in California?

You are legally entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage in California, unless you fit into one of the exceptions to the minimum wage laws (discussed below). It doesn’t matter whether you are paid by the piece, by the hour, by salary, on commission, or in tips. You must receive at least the minimum hourly wage, unless you are exempt.

What Is the Minimum Wage?

To prevent employers from paying employees an unfairly low wage, the federal government sets a minimum wage rate. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour (it was last raised in 2009).

Most states have their own minimum wage law. Some states have a higher minimum wage, some have adopted the federal minimum wage rate, and a few even have a lower minimum wage. And, a number of local governments have set their own higher minimum wage rates. more...  

Am I Entitled to Overtime Pay in California?

Most employers must pay overtime pay for every hour of overtime an employee works in California, unless the employee is exempt. To figure out if you are entitled to overtime pay for your work in California, you need to know:

  • whether your employer is covered by federal or state overtime pay laws
  • whether you are  eligible for overtime pay under federal or state overtime pay laws
  • whether you are exempt from overtime pay laws
  • how California regulates overtime pay, and
  • how California calculates the overtime pay rate.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires most employers to pay employees one-and-a-half times their regular hourly wage (called "time and a half") for every hour worked over 40 hours in a workweek, unless the employee is exempt (that is, the employee falls within an exception to the overtime requirement). So, if you are eligible, you should be paid your regular hourly wage plus 50% of that wage as premium pay for each overtime hour you work.

more...  

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Current Minimum Wage in California

The minimum wage in California is $15.50 an hour. Because this is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, employees in The Golden State must be paid at least $15.50 an hour. 

Quite a few local governments in California have passed ordinances establishing a higher minimum wage. If you work in one of these cities or counties, you are entitled to earn the higher local minimum wage amount.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the “floor” minimum wage for eligible workers in the U.S. This means most workers can't be paid less than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. But, many states and some local governments set their own minimum wage. Workers are entitled to be paid the highest minimum wage that applies where they work, whether it is set by federal, state, or local law. 

You can find out whether your local government has a minimum wage law, as well as information on how to enforce your minimum wage rights, at our Alameda County, CA Minimum Wage and Wage Claims page.



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What Are My Rights to Tips in California?

Although many states allow employers to pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage, California is not among them. In California, your employer must pay you the full hourly minimum wage.

If you earn tips, you should know the rules about

  • what counts as a tip
  • how much your employer must pay you in addition to your tips, and
  • whether you can be required to contribute to a tip sharing arrangement (also called a “tip pool”).

more...  

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Does My California Employer Have to Give Me Breaks From Work?

California is one of a handful of states that require employers to provide paid rest breaks to employees. 

Although many employees get meal and rest breaks during the workday, these breaks aren’t legally required everywhere. Federal law doesn’t require employers to give employees time off to eat or rest during their shifts. Employees are entitled to these breaks only if their state requires it.  

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t require employers to give breaks, but it does regulate when employers have to pay for breaks they choose to give. 

Should Your Breaks Be Paid?

The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for all hours worked, including time the employer may classify as a “break.” An employer does not have to pay for longer meal breaks during which the employee is relieved of all work duties.

more...  

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Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, or Vacation Time in California?

Employees in California are legally entitled to paid sick leave, state temporary disability benefits, and paid family leave benefits under California law.

The rules for paid sick and family leave have changed rapidly in response to COVID-19. In March of 2020, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which required many employers to start providing some paid time off to employees affected by COVID-19 by the beginning of April. The leave provisions of the law expired at the end of 2020, however.

Employers in most states are not legally required to offer paid time off to employees, although many choose to do so.  more...  

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What Can I Do If I Am Owed Pay in California?

If you have an overtime, minimum wage violation, or other wage and hour claim against your employer, you can complain within your company, file a wage claim (in most states), or file a lawsuit to assert your rights. 

If your employer has not paid you the full minimum wage, has not paid you overtime you earned, has not paid you for every hour worked, has required you to work through unpaid breaks, or has illegally kept your tips (among other things), you may have a legal claim for wage theft. Below, we explain the most common wage law violations and provide information on how to enforce your right to be paid fairly, and on time, for all of your work.

Common Wage and Overtime Violations

If your employer hasn’t paid you fully for every hour you have worked, you may have legal claims for violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or California wage and hour law. Here are some common wage theft claims.

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How an Employment Lawyer Can Help You

You don’t have to hire a lawyer to help you negotiate with your employer about unpaid wages or overtime, file a wage claim, or even file a lawsuit in California or federal court. At some point in the legal process, however, most people will want to at least consult with a lawyer. And, for many, it will make sense to hire a lawyer early on. 

There are many ways an employment lawyer can help you with your legal claims for unpaid wages or overtime. A lawyer can help you by:

  • Figuring out whether your employer is breaking the law (that is, whether you have a claim in the first place).
  • Determining how much your employer owes you, including unpaid wages or overtime, other out-of-pocket expenses, and penalties. 

more...