Many Californians are used to receiving steady and reliable paychecks. In fact, these payments may be so consistent that they don't realize the extensive legal framework in place to protect employee wages. All too often, though, employers fail to adhere to these laws, which can cause serious financial harm to expectant workers. Therefore, it is important to have a basic understanding of wage and hour laws. By doing so, individuals can better determine when a wage and hour claim is appropriate.
Under California law, in general workers must be paid at least two times per calendar month. However, certain executive, administrative and professional employees may be paid once monthly. Additionally, employers must identify a consistent payday and post that date so that employees are informed. Failing to adhere to these laws may result in legal action, especially when payment is withheld for any reason.
But these are not the only laws that may affect a California worker. For example, California law specifies that those who are terminated from their job must receive all pay, including pay related to accumulated paid time off, at the time of termination. Seasonal workers who are laid off due to the end of the season must receive their pay within 72 hours. Those employed in the oil drilling business must be paid all wages owed within 24 hours of being laid off. Those who provide 72 hours' notice of an intent to quit must also be paid all wages and accrued paid time off if they leave on the date in the notice. It is worth noting that this last law does not apply to those whose employment is dictated by an employment contract.
These are just a few of the many wage and hour laws that apply to California workers and businesses. Businesses that fail to adhere to these laws can leave workers or former employees facing financial uncertainty which, if it lasts long enough, can threaten their ability to maintain a home and adequately provide for their family. This is unacceptable, which is why it is important to identify when it is appropriate to file a wage and hour claim.