California Labor Laws

As of July 2020: 

Employers with 25 or fewer employees Employers with 26 or more employees 
Alameda $15.00$15.00
Berkeley$16.07$16.07
Emeryville$16.84$16.84
City of Los Angeles $14.25$15.00
County of Los Angeles $14.25$15.00
Fremont$13.50$15.00
Malibu$14.25$15.00
Milpitas$15.40$15.40
Novato$13.0026-99 employees:$14.00

100 plus employees:

$15.00

Pasadena$14.25$15.00
City and County of San Francisco$16.07$16.07
San Leandro $15.00$15.00
Santa Monica $14.25$15.00
Santa Rosa $14.00$15.00

Tipped in employees must be paid the minimum wage rate plus tips. In California an employer cannot use an employee’s tips as a credit towards its obligation to pay the minimum wage. California law requires that employees receive the minimum wage plus any tips left for them by patrons of the employer’s business. Labor Code Section 351

Expecting a baby? Taking care of a seriously ill family member? If you need to take time off work for a new baby or to care for a seriously ill family member and you pay into State Disability Insurance (SDI), you are eligible for California Paid Family Leave. Paid Family Leave pays 55% of your wages when you take time off to:

  • Bond with a new baby, adoption or foster child.
  • Care for a seriously ill parent, parent-in-law, spouse, domestic partner, child, grandparent, grandchild or sibling. 
  • How to apply:
    Call the Employment Development
    Department 1 (877) 238-4372  or visit www.californiapaidfamilyleave.com
  • For questions about your legal right to
    take leave, call Legal Aid at Work
    Helpline: 1 (800) 880-8047

Overtime pay must be paid at one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over forty in any work week.

Here’s the breakdown:

Multiply the minimum wage ($13) x 1.5 = $19.50

Subtract $19.50 from tipped minimum wage ($13) = $6.50 

Overtime pay must be paid at one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over forty in any work week.

Then, multiply $6.50 by the number of overtime hours worked and add that sum to your 40-hour total. 

Yes. In California, an employer must provide an employee with a thirty minute meal and rest period if the employee works five or more hours. However, if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee. A second meal period of no less than thirty minutes is required if an employee works more than ten hours per day, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived. 

No. Labor Code Section 351 provides that the employer must pay the employee the full amount of the tip that is indicated on the credit card. The employer may not make any deduction for credit card processing fees or costs that are charged to the employer by the credit card company from gratuities paid to the employee.

Yes.

To qualify for sick leave, an employee must:

  • Work for the same employer, on or after January 1, 2015, for at least 30 days within a year in California
  • Satisfy a 90-day employment period (similar to a probationary period) before taking any sick leave

You can take paid sick leave for yourself or a family member, for preventive care or diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition, or for specified purposes if you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

  • Family members include the employee’s parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.
  • Preventive care would include annual physicals or flu shots.

The employee may decide how much paid sick leave he or she wants to use (for example, whether you want to take an entire day, or only part of a day). Your employer can require you to take a minimum of at least two hours of paid sick leave at a time, but otherwise the determination of how much time is needed is left to the employee.

Yes. Every gratuity is the sole property of the employee or employees to whom it was paid, given, or left for. Under  Labor Code Section 351, it has been interpreted to allow for involuntary tip pooling so long as the tip pooling policy is not used to compensate the owner(s), manager(s), or supervisor(s) of the business, even if these individuals should provide direct table service to a patron or are in the chain of service to a patron. In addition, the policy must be fair and reasonable.

Therefore, your employer can require that you share your tips with other staff that provide service in the restaurant so long as the employees that share in the tip pooling policy are employees to whom the tip was paid, given, or left for. In this regard, the courts have validated policies that distributed tips among employees who provide “direct table service” or who are in the “chain of service” provided that employee in the chain of service bears a relationship to the customers’ overall experience. 

Legal Aid at Work


Legal Aid at Work is a nonprofit legal services organization that has been assisting low-income, working families for more than 100 years.  We use four main strategies to enforce and strengthen workers’ rights.

GEK LAW FIRM

Since 1984 GEK’s Workers’ Compensation attorneys have been dedicated to fighting for the rights of those in Southern California who are hurt at work. In the ensuing years, the Workers’ Compensation system has changed drastically, and not in a positive way for the state’s injured workers.

Earned paid sick time is leave time that is compensated at the same hourly rate (but no less than minimum
wage) and with the same benefits, including health care benefits, that an employee would have received
for the work hours during which earned paid sick time is used.

• Medical care or mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of the employee or any of the employee’s family members (see the definition of “family member” in Arizona Revised Statutes § 23-371 to see who qualifies as a family member);

• A public health emergency affecting the employee or a family member of the employee pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 23-373; and

• An absence due to domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse, or stalking involving the employee or any of the employee’s family members (see the definition of “family member” in Arizona Revised Statutes § 23-371 to see who qualifies as a family member).

• For employers with 15 or more employees: Employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, but employees are not entitled to accrue or use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time per year, unless the employer selects a higher limit.

• For employers with fewer than 15 employees: Employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, but they are not entitled to accrue or use more than 24 hours of earned paid sick time per year, unless the employer sets a higher limit.

The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act’s minimum wage and earned paid sick time provisions apply only to Arizona employees. Therefore, in the absence of further statutory or judicial guidance on the issue, the Industrial Commission will not enforce against an employer who does not count its non-Arizona employees in its total employee count for earned paid sick time purposes.

No. The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act does not draw a distinction between year-round and partial year employees. An employee’s accrual and usage entitlements are based solely on the size of the employer and are not based upon whether an employee works a full or partial year.

All employees of the original employer still employed by the successor employer are entitled to previously accrued earned paid sick time and are entitled to use that earned paid sick time. The Industrial Commission will follow existing Arizona case law concerning liability assumption in asset-only transactions.

Yes, provided that the paid time off meets or exceeds the requirements of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act.

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 23-373(B), a request to use earned paid sick time may be made orally, in writing, by electronic means, or by any other means acceptable to the employer. When possible, the request to use earned paid sick time must include the expected duration of the absence.

When leave is not foreseeable, an employer may require an employee to follow a written policy that contains procedures for the employee to provide notice. An employer that has not provided to the employee a copy of its written policy for providing such notice may not deny earned paid sick time to the employee based on non-compliance with such a policy.

The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (the “Act”) states that “earned paid sick time shall be provided upon the request of an employee. Such request may be made orally, in writing, by electronic means or by any other means acceptable to the employer.”

The Act is silent as to whether an employee’s family member, medical provider, friend, or other person may submit a request on the employee’s behalf. Because the Act authorizes the use of earned paid sick time for conditions that may render an employee
unable to make requests, authorized individuals may request earned paid sick time for an employee in appropriate circumstances.

Earned paid sick time can either be used in hourly increments or the smallest increment of time that an employer utilizes, by policy or practice, to account for absences or use of other paid time off, whichever is smaller. See A.A.C. R20-5-1202(26).

For example, if an employer’s payroll system accounts for absences or use of other time in 6 minute increments (a tenth of an hour), an employee may use earned paid sick time in this same increment. If an employer utilizes an increment greater than an hour to account for absences or use of other paid time off, that employer’s employees are still entitled to take earned paid sick time or equivalent paid time off in hourly increments.

Yes, but only if an employee uses earned paid sick time on three or more consecutive work days. Where earned paid sick time is used on three of more consecutive work days, an employer can require reasonable documentation that the earned paid sick time was used for purposes permitted by the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act.

No. Although an employer can require reasonable documentation of absences of three of more consecutive work days, an employer may not require that an employee specify the relevant health condition or the details of domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse or stalking.

Yes. The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (the “Act”) provides that nothing in the Act may be interpreted or applied so as to create a conflict with federal law.

If rehire occurs within nine months of separation from the same employer, any previously-accrued, unused earned paid sick time must be reinstated and the employee is entitled to use and accrue earned paid sick timeimmediately at the re-commencement of employment.

Employment Law Firms

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