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Minimum Wages

San Diego Failure to Pay Minimum Wages Lawyer

California law requires workers to be paid a minimum wage. In 2020, the minimum wage in California is:

  • $13.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees; and
  • $12.00 per hour for employers with 25 or less employees.

This amount has been increasing recently and will continue to increase until 2023. What is owed to an employee depends on what year or years that an employee worked for the employer. In looking at any potential San Diego case based on a failure to pay minimum wages, we look at two things: 1) the time period the worker was employed; and 2) what rate applies based on where the employee worked.

California Labor Code 1197 requires employers to pay the minimum wage required by statute or locality. The Labor Code and California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders prescribe the following rates of pay in California as the minimum wage for the following years:

Year

Employer with 26 or more employees

Employer with 25 or less employees

2017

$10.50 per hour

$10.00 per hour

2018

$11.00 per hour

$10.50 per hour

2019

$12.00 per hour

$11.00 per hour

2020

$13.00 per hour

$12.00 per hour

2021

$14.00 per hour

$13.00 per hour

2022

$15.00 per hour

$14.00 per hour

2023

$15.00 per hour

$15.00 per hour

*CA Labor Code § 1182.12

There are also multiple cities in California that have a higher minimum wage, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Berkeley. There are other cities with higher minimum wage requirements in California also.

It is important to note that there are exceptions to the minimum wage law including participants in national service programs, mentally or physically handicapped employees working for certain nonprofits and rehabilitation facilities, and outside salespeople.

What if My Employer Asks That I Agree to Work for Less Than Minimum Wage?

An employer cannot legally require an employee to take less than the minimum wage. It is an absolute law that requires compliance.

Working off the Clock

We have worked on multiple cases where an employer asks an employee to clock out and then continue doing several tasks. In a lot of cases, this happens at the end of the day where an employee would normally be clocking out at a certain time, but then finishes several tasks. These cases can lead to claims for failure to pay minimum wage as a result of having the employee work off the clock.

Misclassification as a Tool to Avoid Paying Minimum Wage

In certain cases, companies have designated employees as “independent contractors” instead of employees. This allows the company to avoid liability for not complying with CA Labor Law including paying minimum wages, providing meal and rest breaks, and paying overtime. If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you can recover wages owed as well as liquidated damages, interest, and attorney’s fees.

What Damages are Recoverable From an Employer Who Has Failed to Pay Minimum Wages?

An employer who has failed to pay minimum wages can be responsible for the following damages:

  • Payment for all wages owed to match the relevant minimum wage;
  • Payment for any overtime wages that are owed as a result of bringing the employee up to minimum wage;
  • Liquidated damages if the failure to pay minimum wages was willful
  • Interest;
  • Attorney’s fees; and
  • A civil penalty under Labor Code § 1197.1 equal to $100 for the initial violation and $250 for each violation thereafter
Can I Be Fired for Reporting an Employer for Not Paying Minimum Wages?

It is illegal for an employer to take any actions against an employee for reporting a violation of the law, including filing a lawsuit, making a complaint to the Labor Commissioner, and/or reporting the violation to internal management. This can result in a workplace retaliation claim also being filed against the employer.

Get Help From a San Diego Failure to Pay Minimum Wages Lawyer

Our office has successfully handled individual and class action cases involving the failure to pay minimum wages. We offer free, confidential consultations to all potential clients in employment matters. There is never a fee unless we win your case at trial or obtain a settlement.

For more information or to speak to a labor lawyer about your case, call us at (619) 377-4660.

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