As of January of last year, California courts have adopted the new liquidated damages laws for minimum wage claims. If you feel you have been shorted for your California minimum wage salary, you have the right to fight for the liquidated damages caused you by the shortage.
The current minimum wage in California is $8.00 per hour. The federal minimum wage sits at $7.25. In California, minimum wage employees must be paid by the state standard.
The math to confirm if you are being paid accurately according to minimum wage laws in California is simple. Say your employer agrees to a per diem salary of $50 per day. You work 40 hours a week on average. At the California minimum wage rate, your per diem pay should be $64.00 per day, which is enforceable by law.
You can file a claim for the liquidated damages for the difference between the $50 a day you were paid, compare to the $320 a week you should have been paid at 40 hours a week.
Companies that willfully avoid paying to the California minimum wage standard can be penalized on top of owing their employee the liquidated damages.
If you feel you have been underpaid based on the California minimum wage, seek the assistance of a California employment attorney to file your minimum wage claim and ensure you get the money you deserve.
Wage Theft Prevention Act And New Template For California Employers
One of the many new employment laws in California effective January 1, 2012 is Labor Code Section 2810.5, the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011. This law requires that, at the time of hiring, an employer shall provide each employee a written notice, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee, containing specific information related to the employee's rate of pay, allowances, the regular payday, the name, physical address, contact information and workers comp insurance carrier, as well as any "other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary."
The new law also requires that employers provide written notice of changes to any of the required information, unless certain conditions are met.
Employees not covered by the new law include those exempt from overtime, those employed by the State or political subdivisions and those subject to certain collective bargaining agreements.
The Wage Theft Prevention Act required that the Labor Commissioner prepare a template for use by employers that complies with the new law and that has now occurred.
You can find the template here. Among other things the template has a section for Wage Information where the employer can list the employee's regular rate of pay and overtime rate, whether the employee is paid by the hour, day, shift, week, salary, piece rate, commission or other basis, whether there is an oral or written employment agreement, and allowances, if any, for items such as meals or lodging.
Our San Jose employment lawyers at SAC Attorneys LLP, advise businesses, including high tech and other companies in the Silicon Valley and beyond, including San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, South San Francisco, Daly City, Cupertino, Saratoga and Emeryville.