California Work Without Pay – What Is the Law?

A large California restaurant chain faced a class-action lawsuit from some 2,500 store assistant managers who said they were forced to work overtime hours without any pay. The workers contended that their agreements with the company included statements that they would in fact receive overtime pay as outlined in U.S. labor and employment laws. They indicated that they never received such pay but were instead forced to work the extra hours at no cost to the company.

The restaurant chain faced another complaint in San Diego, where the store maintains a tip jar at a coffee bar. Customers could place tips in the jar if they thought their baristas offered them good service. However, it was the policy of the restaurant that the managers shared in the tips with the baristas, even though the managers weren’t the ones serving the drinks. A California judge determined that the policy was in violation of state employment laws.

California Employment Law

Any business wishing to hire other individuals for work within the state of California are encouraged to acquire an employer identification number for use with the IRS. This can be accomplished by filling out a form SS-4 with the IRS and sending it in. There are three main ways a company can hire a worker in the state of California:

  • Salary worker
  • Hourly worker
  • Work-for hire contractor

A salary worker hired by a company typically is a high level employee who earns the same amount from the company regardless of the hours worked up to 40 hours each week. An hourly worker is hired by the company to complete tasks and is paid by the hour. A work-for-hire contractor is paid a set amount either hourly or per project in order to complete a task for a company.

Hourly Overtime Rules

In the state of California, there is a an adult employee who works more than 40 hours in a single work week must be paid a minimum of time and a half by the employer for each hour in that week during which the worker works above the first 40 hours.

An experienced Los Angeles labor attorney can help businesses with their employment contracts and with keeping them in line with hourly and salaried work requirements. A qualified Los Angeles wage dispute lawyer works diligently to keep businesses within the laws and regulations of the state.