Small Business Legal Update – California Specific 2016
If you run a business in California you are probably well aware that the minimum wage in California is increasing to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. In fact, a small number of cities in California are increasing the minimum wage even more. There is a ballot initiative to increase minimum wage to $15.00 dollars. If you are an employer or employee, this should be reason enough to get out and vote in the next voting season.
There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as outside salespersons, individuals who are the parent, spouse, or child of the employer, and apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.
There is an exception for “learners”, regardless of age, who may be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage rounded to the nearest nickel during their first 160 hours of employment in occupations in which they have no previous similar or related experience.
There are also exceptions for employees who are mentally or physically disabled, or both, and for nonprofit organizations such as sheltered workshops or rehabilitation facilities that employ disabled workers. Such individuals and organizations may be issued a special license by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement authorizing employment at a wage less than the legal minimum wage. Just for trivia purposes, did you know that effective January 1, 2016, the minimum monthly salary for sheepherders will be $1777.98?
However, wage and hour labor issues expand much further than just determining minimum wage. Employers are required to provide their hourly employees certain rest periods which are calculated by the total amount of hours worked. Rest periods are not required for workers that work less than three and half hours. Generally, the “lunch” period should be given to workers in the middle of their shift. The penalty of not providing employees with their rest period is the payment of one hour of their regular rate of pay.
Employers should be aware that pursuant to Murphy v. Cole, the California Supreme Court held that the remedy for meal and rest period violations of “one additional hour of pay” under Labor Code section 226.7 is a wage subject to a three-year statute of limitations.
Whether you are a business or employee that may have questions regarding wage and hour issues you should consult a local business attorney. This is certainly the case of… “spending a little on education is better than spending a lot on learning a lesson.”
Small Business Law Office
27815 Bradley Rd, Suite 145
Menifee, Ca 92586