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California - Wage and Hour Laws - Employment Law Handbook

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Minimum Wage

California's current minimum wage rate is $8.00.
For more information on California's minimum wage laws, visit our California Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:

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Overtime

California requires an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of:
  • one and a half (1½) times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek or eight (8) hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight (8) hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek; and
  • two (2) times the employee's regular rate or pay for all hours worked in excess of twelve (12) hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek.
CA Dept. of Industrial Relations: Overtime.
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Meals and Breaks

California employees must be provided with a meal period of no less than a 30-minute when they work more than five (5) consecutive hours (more than six (6) hours for employees in the motion picture industry in specific situations). CA Dept. of Industrial Relations: Meal Periods. Unless the employee is relieved of all duties during the entire 30-minute meal period and is free to leave the employer's premises, the meal period must be counted as hours worked and paid at the employee's regular rate of pay. California law only permits employers to provide an "on duty" meal period when the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the employer and employee an on-the-job meal period is agreed to. CA Labor Code Section 512 Certain non-exempt employees must be provided with a net 10-minute paid rest period for every four (4) hours worked or major fraction thereof. Insofar as is practicable, the rest period should be in the middle of the work period. A rest period is not required for employees whose total daily work time is less than three and one half (3 1/2) hours. The rest period is counted as time worked and therefore, the employer must pay for such periods. CA Dept. of Industrial Relations: Rest Periods.
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Vacation Leave

Information about California vacation leave laws may now be found on our California Leave Laws page.
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Sick Leave

Information about California sick leave laws may now be found on our California Leave Laws page.
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Holiday Leave

Information about California holiday leave laws may now be found on our California Leave Laws page.
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Jury Duty Leave

Information about California jury duty leave laws may now be found on our California Leave Laws page.
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Voting Leave

Information about California voting leave laws may now be found on our California Leave Laws page.
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Severance Pay

California law does not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
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