Minimum Wage Requirements

Federal, state, and local laws require employers to pay employees a minimum wage. But despite these requirements, employers often pay employees less than the minimum wage, thereby cheating employees of the compensation they have worked hard to earn.

Federal Minimum Wage Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law governing the minimum wage. FLSA requires employers to pay nonexempt employees at least $7.25 per hour.

In general, FLSA exempts some employees from the minimum wage requirements, including, but not limited to:

  • commissioned sales employees;
  • computer professionals;
  • drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders and mechanics;
  • farmworkeres;
  • salesmen, partsmen, and mechanics at automobile dealerships;
  • executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.

With some exceptions, employees must also pay overtime for work over forty hours a week.

California Minimum Wage Law

California law likewise requires employers to pay non-exempt employees a minimum wage. For the remainder of 2015, the minimum wage in California is $9.00 per hour. Beginning January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in California will be $10.00 per hour.

Novice employees who are in their first 160 hours of employment (known as “learners”) have an adjusted minimum wage. Employers may pay learners not less than 85% of the minimum wage rounded to the nearest nickel during their first 160 hours.

An employer may not use an employee’s tips as a credit toward the minimum wage obligation.

Los Angeles Minimum Wage Law

The City of Los Angeles has a higher minimum wage than the rest of the state. In 2015, the City agreed to raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next five years.

Employers Must Follow the Highest Minimum Wage Requirement

California employers are subject to federal, state, and local laws. Where one jurisdiction requires a higher minimum wage than another, the employer must follow the highest standard. In other words, a California employer cannot lawfully pay a California employee the federal minimum wage, but must pay the California state minimum wage or, if higher, local city wage.

Minimum Wage

An employee may not agree to accept less than the minimum wage. If an employer pays less than the minimum wage then the employee has two options. The employee could either file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or sue the employer for the lost wages. An experienced attorney can help employees determine the best option and proceed with the claim.

A California Minimum Wage Lawyer Can Help

If your employer is paying you less than the minimum wage, you may be entitled to recover your unpaid wages. The knowledgeable labor and employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside can help you secure the compensation that you have rightfully earned. Call today for a free case consultation at 714-937-2020.