Minimum wage is the lowest hourly pay an employer can lawfully pay a worker. Individual states can implement their own minimum wage laws. When a state’s minimum wage does not match the federal one, minimum wage earners receive the higher of the two amounts. In California, the minimum wage is higher than the federal mandate. As of 2009, the federal government sets its minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. California’s minimum wage is $12.00 per hour as of 2019. Californians are entitled to this higher minimum wage.
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There are times where employers don’t pay the set minimum wage. If your employer doesn’t pay you the higher California minimum wage, they are breaking California law. Be sure to talk to a minimum wage attorney at Mara Law Firm immediately, a firm that is second to none in their experience with California Labor Laws.
Some employers may break the law by asking you to waive your right to receive California’s minimum wage. For example, your employer may ask you to accept the lower federal minimum wage instead of the state’s minimum wage, which is against the law. When a state’s minimum wage differs from the one set by the federal government, you receive the higher amount. You don’t have a choice to pick a higher or a lower minimum wage. Your employer also doesn’t have the option to pay you a lesser amount.
There is also piece rate wage compensation. This form of payment is based on the amount of work you finish, not an hourly rate. In California, the piece-rate pay structure and minimum wage are connected. It means that you still have to be paid for all your hours worked at no less than California’s minimum wage. Your employer can’t just pay you for certain tasks and not all other time you are under their control performing other tasks, such as paperwork, waiting, cleaning, etc. When employers pay you for some, but not all tasks, they are breaking California’s minimum wage law and owe you money.
If you are not being paid for all hours worked under a piece-rate pay structure, contact Mara Law Firm’s minimum wage attorneys immediately.
Tip compensation is an important and substantial source of income for many workers. California law ensures that your tips stay out of your employer’s pocket, while also protecting against your employer diverting some of your tip money to pay your hourly minimum wage. According to California law, your tips and hourly pay are separate. This means, your employer can’t take your tips and put them towards the minimum wage they pay you. It’s illegal.
It is also illegal for your employer to take any of your tips a customer gives you and keep them. This means your employer must provide you with all the tips you earned, plus your regular hourly pay.
Some employers participate in tip pooling. Tip pooling means that you and your co-workers, who also receive tips, must chip in a portion of your tips. Your employer collects them, then distributes the divided amount among you and your co-workers. This is permissible by state law. Your employer, however, meaning supervisors or other members of the management team, cannot share in your tips.
According to state and federal laws, you are entitled to minimum wage compensation. Your employer can pay more than the set California minimum wage, but your employer can’t pay you less. If your employer is breaking California’s minimum wage law, contact The Mara Law Firm.
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