It is only fair that you get paid fair wages for work done. However, wage theft is common practice among many employers, which is why you need to be aware of the various laws that protect you as an employee in California.
Usually, there is a minimum amount of wages that an employer is legally required to pay their employees. In California, the minimum wage is higher than the federal threshold, placed at $7.25 per hour. The amount increases every year to match the cost of living. Below is a brief on California’s minimum wage for 2022.
It depends on the number of employees
For employers who have more than 25 employees, the minimum wage is set at $15 an hour, while those with less than 25 employees are required to pay not less than $14 per hour. However, some exceptions apply to certain groups of individuals, such as learners and outside salespeople, where the minimum wage laws do not apply.
As an employee, it is important to note that earning the minimum wage is your right which cannot be waived by any agreement with your employer. It is an obligation placed on the employer by law, and you need to protect your legal rights if your employer is violating your rights.
Protecting your legal rights
If your employer is paying you less than the minimum wage, you need to take action. You have the option of suing them and recovering damages.
The damages may include the amount you are owed to bring your wages to the minimum and any interests on it. The court could also order your employer to pay the cost of the suit with the possibility of further penalties if their actions were in bad faith.
Importantly, your employer is not supposed to take adverse action such as firing or demoting you if you bring a lawsuit over their failure to meet the minimum wage as required by law.