Know The Law

Know the Law. Know your Rights.

Are you Earning at Least the Minimum Wage Required by California Law?

Employees in California must be paid the minimum wage and are protected by law. While there are some exceptions, it is illegal for employers to pay employees less than the required minimum wage. The California state minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, so workers should be paid the higher required pay under state law. Moreover, some cities and counties have even higher minimum wages, so you should always be aware of the applicable minimum wage, as well as any increases to the minimum wage that typically occur every January 1.

California Labor Code §512(1)(a)

The minimum wage for employees fixed by the commission or by any applicable state or local law, is the minimum wage to be paid to employees, and the payment of a lower wage than the minimum so fixed is unlawful. This section does not change the applicability of local minimum wage laws to any entity.

If your employer is not paying you the minimum wage required by law, you can file a lawsuit to recover unpaid wages, interest on the wages, as well as attorneys’ fees and court costs. Also, if there are many employees that are not being paid the required wage, you could be part of a class action claim against the employer.

California Labor Code § 1194

Any employee receiving less than the legal minimum wage or the legal overtime compensation applicable to such employee is entitled to recover in a civil action the unpaid balance of the full amount of such minimum wage or overtime compensation, together with costs of suit, notwithstanding any agreement to work for a lesser wage.

Also, be aware that in addition to the hours you are actually performing your job, your employer must also pay you for any additional time that your employer has control over you. For example, you are entitled to minimum wage for the time needed to change into a uniform; time on-call waiting to be called in to work; as well as time needed to pass through security between shifts. This time is covered by California labor laws, and your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage or they are breaking the law, and you may be entitled to compensation.


Srourian Law Firm, with locations in Los Angeles, Westwood, Woodland Hills, and Orange County is experienced in all aspects of employment law including minimum and unpaid wages and have aggressively represented employees in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Orange, Irvine, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Tustin, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Garden Grove, Laguna Niguel, Brea, Fountain Valley, Aliso Viejo, Yorba Linda, Westminster, Laguna Hills, Cypress, and La Habra.

If you or someone you know suffered employment violations as an employee such as being paid less than minimum wage in California, you may have certain employee rights under state and federal law and may be entitled to unpaid wages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs, and/or be entitled to compensation as a part of the class action lawsuit. Please contact us to speak with one of our experienced lawyers for a free consultation.