What is the minimum wage in California?

The purpose of minimum wage is to protect workers from unfairly low compensation. Under California law, almost all state employees must be paid the minimum wage by their employers for every compensable hour worked. This right cannot be waived by the employer or the worker. Some cities have their own minimum wage, including San Francisco and San Jose. Workers are entitled to the highest minimum wage, whether it is local, state or federal. Tips cannot be counted toward minimum wage in California. Also, employees paid on a piece, salary or commission must receive at least the equivalent of minimum wage for every compensable hour worked.

Minimum wage is not applicable to all employees and occupations. Learners are one such exception. Learners are employees whose work requires learning new skills in which they have no similar or related experience. They may be paid no less than a reduced rate of 85 percent of the minimum wage for the first 160 hours of work. For example, a factory worker may be paid the reduced rate while learning how to operate machinery with which he has no prior experience.

There are also minimum wage exceptions for apprentices and certain mentally or physically disabled workers. The Labor Commission must issue certificates that authorize the payment of a subminimum wage to some apprentices and disabled workers. Certain employees have no right to minimum wage and do not receive the basic protections of both state and federal wage and hour laws. These include outside salespersons; individuals who are the parent, spouse or child of the employer; and apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

If you are owed wages, suspect you are wrongly classified as exempt, or any other overtime, minimum wage or other wage error by your employer, McCormack Law Firm has an extensive background helping individuals with wage claims to recover their damages.

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