Being employed is a service that you provide to your employer. Your labor is vital for their business to succeed and flourish. Although you are employed by the business, you still deserve to be protected and treated fairly. California has enacted many employment laws to protect the rights of employees, particularly those around overtime and break time stipulations.
The team at MM Law is passionate about protecting your rights as an employee if you are wronged by an employer. Our firm is guided by our strong values and strives for excellence in every area of our practice. Our experienced employment lawyers will work diligently to examine your case and help you determine the best course of action. Our passion has enabled us to represent those in the Glendale community and ensure that their rights are preserved.
Employment laws were created to mediate the relationship between employing entities, workers, trade unions, and the government. These laws explicitly state the responsibilities and rights of both parties and span across multiple levels of government. It oversees all aspects of the employee-employer relationship and covers areas like workplace wages, safety, pensions, and unemployment compensation. It also covers overtime, meal breaks, and rest breaks. Because employment law involves many different areas of law, it is frequently broken into smaller areas.
California’s overtime laws were created to ensure that employees do not work too many days in a week, or too many hours in a day, without being appropriately compensated. California classifies overtime relative to both hours worked per week and hours worked per day—overtime begins after the employee works eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. Employees that are required to work seven days per week are also legally entitled to overtime during their Sunday shift.
The overtime pay rate depends on how many hours of overtime worked per day or per week. If an employee works between eight and 12 hours per day, or more than 40 hours a week, they are entitled to an overtime rate of one and a half times their typical rate during the overtime period. If an employee works over 12 hours per day, they are entitled to an overtime rate of double their typical rate. Employees that work more than eight hours on a Sunday, following a seven-day work week, are also entitled to double-time pay during the overtime period in Glendale, CA.
California law specifies time for both meal and rest breaks. Employees working more than five hours a day must be given a 30-minute unpaid meal break, though they can waive that right if their workday will be six hours or less. If an employee works more than 10 hours in a day, they are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break. However, it can be waived if they are working less than 12 hours and did not waive the first break. Employers can only mandate that these breaks be taken on premises if employees are given premium pay as compensation.
Employees must also be afforded a rest break of at least 10 minutes for every four hours worked. These breaks should be paid and counted as time worked, as well as be spaced in the middle of the employee’s work shift.
There are certain groups of employees that may be exempt from these laws. White-collar employees in executive, administrative, or creative work positions may be exempt. Independent contractors are also exempt from these laws, though employers sometimes misclassify employees to illegally avoid paying overtime salaries. Unionized employees are also exempt from these overtime and break laws, as they typically have different overtime hours and rates specified in a collective bargaining agreement.
In California, the legally mandated overtime pay is 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate. This rate increase is applicable in most cases where the worker has been on shift for longer than eight hours a day. Once the worker has reached 12 hours on shift, they are entitled to double time, or twice their typical rate of pay. Overtime pay applies to both hourly and piece-rate workers.
In an 8-hour shift while employed by a California business, you should have three breaks. You should have one 10-minute rest period every four hours worked. Any employee working longer than five hours should also be afforded an off-duty meal period of at least 30 minutes. Therefore, an employee working an 8-hour shift should be given two 10-minute paid breaks and one 30-minute unpaid meal.
If an employer fails in their duty to provide an employee with the required meal period, that employee is entitled to an extra hour of pay. This extra hour of pay is a meal penalty charged to the employer for not upholding this requirement. This meal penalty does not count towards the employee’s hours worked and so does not count towards overtime.
During a 12-hour shift while employed in California, you should have five breaks. You should have one 10-minute rest period every four hours worked. Any employee should also be provided a 30-minute meal break after working for five hours, then another at 10 hours. Therefore, an employee working a 12-hour shift should be given three 10-minute paid breaks and two 30-minute unpaid meal breaks.
The team at MM Law has extensive knowledge of the laws and legal protections put into place to ensure that California workers are not exploited by unfair or unethical employment practices. We are passionate about connecting with employees that believe that they have been wronged by their employers and identifying any injustices that have occurred. We will work diligently to ensure that any wrongdoing by the employer is identified, then apply our expertise to ensure that you obtain justice, compensation, and/or appropriate relief. Contact us today so we can examine your case and help you understand your options moving forward.