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Featured / November 16, 2023

Understanding California Wage and Hour Laws: A Complete Guide for Employees

As an employee in California, it is crucial to be well-informed about your rights under wage and hour laws. These laws are in place to protect you and ensure fair compensation for your hard work. As a firm representing employees in cases involving unpaid wages, such as unpaid overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and unreimbursed expenses, Sani Law is here to provide you with a comprehensive guide to California's wage and hour laws.

Overtime Pay and Employee Classification

California's overtime laws are more employee-friendly than federal standards. If you're a non-exempt employee, you are entitled to overtime pay if you work more than eight hours in a day or over 40 hours in a week. Additionally, if you work beyond 12 hours in a day, you should be receiving double-time pay. It is essential to know your proper classification (exempt vs. non-exempt) to avoid missing out on your rightful overtime pay due to misclassification.

Unpaid Overtime Wages and Pursuing Claims

Unpaid overtime is an issue that many employees face. Employers may unlawfully misclassify workers or fail to pay overtime altogether. The good news is that you have the right to pursue claims for unpaid overtime wages. You can file complaints with the Labor Commissioner or seek private legal action to get what you rightfully deserve.

Unpaid Minimum Wages and Remedies

Receiving less than the mandated minimum wage is unacceptable. If that happens to you, there are remedies available. You can file claims with the Labor Commissioner, who can investigate and ensure you get paid what you're owed. Alternatively, you can consider private legal action to seek redress.

Meal and Rest Break Violations: Protecting Employee Rights

Everyone needs a break, and California law agrees. Your employer is required to provide you with meal and rest breaks. If you work more than five hours in a day, you should get a 30-minute unpaid meal break. Moreover, if you're pulling a ten-hour shift, you deserve a second meal break. Additionally, you should have paid rest breaks of at least ten minutes per four hours worked. If your employer doesn't honor these breaks, you have the right to seek remedies.

The Importance of Record-Keeping in Wage and Hour Cases

Keeping accurate records is essential in wage and hour disputes. Employers must maintain detailed records of your work hours, wages, and other relevant information. These records serve as crucial evidence in supporting your claims for unpaid wages or missed breaks.

Unreimbursed Expenses: Seeking Compensation

You are entitled to reimbursement for work-related expenses. Whether it's travel costs, equipment purchases, or other business expenses, your employer should cover these expenses. If they fail to reimburse you, they might be violating California's wage and hour laws.


Knowing your rights under California's wage and hour laws is vital to protect yourself and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. As your advocate, we are here to help you navigate these laws and seek justice if your rights have been violated. Remember, these laws are designed to protect employees like you and create a level playing field. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently stand up for your rights and create a fair and equitable working environment for yourself and your colleagues.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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