Are CA Employers Required to Give Holidays Off?

With the holidays quickly approaching, many California employees may be wondering if their employers have to pay them for the time they are given off of work. Not surprisingly, the answer is: it depends.

Like many other states, California employers are not required to pay their workers holiday pay when they close for business on official holidays. And working on a holiday does not guarantee overtime or additional compensation, though some employer’s do have a policy to pay extra rates such as time-and-a-half. If an employee does work on a holiday, California law only requires that an employer pay an employee their usual rate of pay. The law does not require that an employer pay you any additional pay if you work on the day of a holiday unless it is part of their common practice or if you have worked in excess of a 40 hour, 8 hour per day work week. What’s more, Saturdays and Sunday are paid at the same rate as hours worked during a weekday.

Does your employer have to give you a holiday off?

What is the FSLA?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which affect many private and public companies; including those in California, prescribes standards for the basic minimum wage and overtime pay. The FSLA is administered by the Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

The basic requirements of the FSLA include:

  • Payment of the minimum wage
  • Overtime pay for time worked over 40 hours in one workweek
  • Restrictions on the employment of children
  • Recordkeeping

CA Employees Bringing A Wave Of Employee Pay Lawsuits

In California, there has been a recent wave of cases brought by employee plaintiffs who claim their employers have underpaid wages and cheated them out of benefits. California state laws, in addition to federal laws, play a role in the legal standards an employer must follow when it comes to overtime and related entitlements.

Read on to learn about three cases that highlight the importance of employers’ maintaining an awareness of the nuances California and federal wage and hour laws, particularly when it comes to the issue of employee overtime pay.

A Look Into the Nuances of California’s Labor Code

Various state and federal laws govern the amount of wages to which an Orange County employee is entitled.
A recent case involving a collective bargaining agreement (Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corp.) illustrates the fact that unionized California employees may be subject to different legal requirements than employees not represented by a union or labor group when it comes to overtime pay. In this case, the California Court of Appeal ruled on the issue of whether state overtime laws applied to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Minimum Wage & Overtime Violations in California

Orange County employees receive a number of state and federal protections relating to their wages.  For example, various regulations govern the minimum amount an employee must be paid and whether or not a given employee is entitled to overtime.  California and federal wage and hour laws also cover issues relating to tips, meal breaks, and when an employee is entitled to payment. If you believe that your Orange County employer is not compensating you properly, know that California law is on your side.

Minimum Wage Violations in California

The federal law that governs most wage and hour employment practices is the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FSLA is intended to protect employees in Orange County and across the country from unfairly low compensation for their work or services. While under federal law the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, California law states that the minimum wage is $9 per hour (and set to increase to $10 per hour in January 2016). This means that, generally speaking, employers must pay Orange County employees the higher minimum wage of $9 per hour. Discuss your specific situation with a knowledgeable employment lawyer.

The Truth About Unpaid Internships in California

Are you an unpaid intern who deserves to be paid fair wages? Many California employers take the seemingly less expensive route of hiring “free labor” in the form of unpaid internships, cutting hundreds if not thousands of individuals out of hard-earned paychecks, when in fact, the duties these interns are performing are those of an actual paid employee. These employers are committing wage and hour violations against hard working men and women just like you.

How do you know if your unpaid internship is also unjust, meaning you should be compensated appropriately for the work you are performing? First, know that California law is on your side. In addition to the requirements set forth by the Department of Labor under federal law, California requires that an additional handful of factors be met in order for your Orange County employer to ‘get away with’ not paying you.

The requirements of an unpaid internship according to the Department of Labor: