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Wage and hour laws: 3 frequently asked questions

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2022 | Litigation Defense

Employers have to ensure that they pay employees their due wages. California laws regarding wages are much stricter than federal law, so it’s critical that employers know both. 

While there are many laws to know, and some that apply to only certain industries, these are some of the more frequent questions employers should know the answers to. 

#1: How often must employees be paid?

Employees must be paid at least twice per month. State law sets expectations for this. At a minimum, wages must be paid by the 26th of the month for hours worked from the 1st to the 15th, and by the 6th for hours worked from the 16th to the last day of the previous month. Employers can also pay weekly, biweekly, and semimonthly on a different schedule, but all paydays must be within seven days of the end of the pay period.

#2: What happens if an employee quits or is terminated?

If an employee is terminated, all due wages up until the moment of termination are due immediately, with very few exceptions. An employee who quits without a 72-hour notice must be paid within 72 hours of quitting. If they provided a 72-hour notice, their wages are due immediately after their final shift. 

#3: When does overtime pay apply?

There are two tiers for overtime pay in California. These are 1.5 times the standard pay and 2 times the standard pay. 

  • 1.5 times pay: 
    • More than 40 hours in a workweek
    • More than 8 but less than 12 hours in a day
    • First 8 hours of a workday if worked 7 consecutive days in a workweek
  • 2 times pay:
    • More than 12 hours in a workday
    • More than 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day in a workweek

Having to battle wage and hour matters is time-consuming and can be very costly. Prevention is the best option for these matters, but having someone on your side is crucial if your company does have to try to fight this type of battle.