Written by attorney Rodney Mesriani

4 Things You Need to Know about California Minimum Wage

One of the perks of working in California is the higher minimum wage compared to other states, especially those that follow the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) imposed rate.

Since January 1, 2008, California minimum wage employees have been enjoying $8.00 per hour as opposed to the $7.25 federal rate. So if you live in California but you are earning less than $8 per hour, then you might want to consult a Los Angeles labor and employment attorney to know your legal options.

To have a general idea about California’s minimum wage, here are some things you need to know:

  1. Cannot be earned in tip

While the minimum in some states, including those that follow the FLSA, allows employees to earn part of their minimum wage in tips, California does not do the same. The state labor law requires employers to pay employees the whole amount ($8.00) and the employees also get to keep the tips they earned. This gives the employees a greater chance to earn more than the minimum wage.

  1. Exemption

There are several exemptions where employers do not have to pay an employee the minimum wage.

Some of those exemptions are: • Outside salespersons or employees who are tasked to generate sales outside the workplace. • Direct relatives of the employer including parents, spouse, child. • Apprentices who are regularly indentured. • Learners (any age) can be paid by employers with just 85 percent of the minimum wage during the first 160 hours of employment to learn the ropes of the new job. Of course, the employee must not have previous experience in the particular post for this exemption to apply. 3. Sheepherders have a different minimum wage

Since sheepherders usually stay in the farm where they are working and their hours are not as defined as other types of employees, their minimum wage is set at a monthly basis of $1,422.52.

Employers may not offset this rate by the meals or lodgings they provide because the law already has provisions that employers have to meet in regards to meal and lodgings.

  1. Filing an unfair wage claim

If your rights to minimum wage have been violated, you can file an unfair wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards who will investigate your complaint. You can also directly file an unfair wage lawsuit against your employer with the help of a Los Angeles Employment lawyer.

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