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What are California’s wage and hour laws for hourly employees?

As a worker in California, you deserve to be paid at least the minimum wage, and your employer wants to abide by the law and pay their workers what they owe them. Therefore, it is important for both parties to understand California’s minimum wage laws, tipping laws, and what an employee can do if they believe they were underpaid.

California’s minimum wage

The minimum wage in California in 2022 is $15.50 an hour. This is meant to reflect recent inflation amounts. The aim in California is to increase the minimum wage annually until it reaches $18 an hour by 2026. Employers must abide by the highest minimum wage, so California employers must pay California minimum wages.

Can my employer keep part of my tips?

If you work in the service industry, it is likely that you receive tips for jobs well done. Is your employer entitled to keep part of your tips? The answer is “no.” employers cannot use a worker’s tips as a credit toward the requirement that they pay all workers at least the minimum wage.

What if my employer won’t pay the minimum wage?

If your employer refuses to pay you the minimum wage, you have the option to either file a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) or to file a lawsuit. If you file a claim with DLSE, your claim will go toward a Deputy Labor Commissioner who will examine the circumstances surrounding the claim in a conference or hearing. A DLSE’s judgment is considered a court judgment.

Know your rights as an employee and employer

Employees deserve to be paid what their employers owe them and generally employers want to abide by wage and hour laws. By knowing your rights as an employee, you can protect your interests.