Most employees are keen to get the wages they believe are due to them and can get upset if they feel their employer has not complied.
Keeping up with that is not always simple for you as an employer. California has a lot of rules governing what you should pay particular people. It’s easy for you to misunderstand these and not pay enough, or for the employee to misunderstand them and expect too much.
Here are some basics:
You need to pay most people at least $15.50 per hour
This is the blanket minimum wage for the state and unlike some places, you need to pay it regardless of age. There is no lower hourly rate for under 18s. You do however need to check to see if your city or county stipulates an even higher rate.
You might not need to pay this rate to apprentices, people in their first 160 hours of learning the job, or people in certain roles, such as an outside salesperson but most people should get at least this.
You need to pay most people overtime once they hit a certain limit
California sets the standard working day at eight hours and the standard working week at 40 hours. Most people doing above either of these are entitled to receive extra compensation – one and a half times their hourly rate – for the hours above those limits.
You usually need to pay double time on anything an employee works above 12 hours in a day, or for anything over eight hours on their seventh consecutive day in a week.
There are however exceptions to the standard rules for wages and overtime. Getting help to understand your obligations reduces the chance you have to defend a lawsuit an unhappy employee brings because you got it wrong.