Wage and hour laws refer to any legislation that concerns fair pay and working hours. In 2023, various new wage and hour laws are enacted in California.
Minimum wage changes
One of the biggest changes in California’s employment laws involves minimum wage protections. The state passed legislation requiring raises in minimum compensation for hourly, salaried and commission-based employees.
The minimum wage facts you should understand in California in 2023 include:
- The state hourly minimum rate for employees reaches $15.50 per hour.
- Local ordinances may require a higher minimum wage rate per hour.
- Exempt employees must earn at least double the monthly minimum wage amount.
- Commission workers must earn a wage equal to at least one and a half times the monthly minimum wage.
One of the principle arguments in many wage and hour claims involves employees not getting paid for work they were forced to do “off the clock.” Some employers force employees to work on a system that rounds up and rounds down their employment hours. In 2022, the Court of Appeal ruled that employees should be paid for actual work performed instead of relying upon a pay-rounding system. If your employer consistently rounds down your pay, they violate California legal precedent.
Several new laws allow for greater protections for employees who need to take leave from work. The following changes to employee leave guarantee greater protection during times of extreme stress:
- Employees gain the ability to care for a “designated person” during family and medical leave or sick leave
- A designated person does not need to share a familial relationship with the employee.
- Most employers must provide bereavement leave.
- State COVID-19 supplemental sick leave protections expire in 2023.
These wage and hour changes affect your ability to earn a fair wage in California. Employees should make themselves aware of these changes if their employers fail to comply with the law.