California Labor Law

Labor Laws for California Employees

California labor law protects employees in a variety of ways, including setting standards for overtime pay, minimum wage, business expense reimbursements, mass layoffs, employee classification, and other requirements.

Problems arise when employers do not comply with these laws. Our employment lawyers protect and fight for employees whose legal rights have been violated under California law.

Your rights under California labor law

  • California Overtime Law – Under California labor law, any work beyond 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day is considered overtime for which employees must be paid at least at one and a half times their regular rate of pay. If a California employee works all seven days of the workweek, all work performed on the seventh day is also considered overtime.
  • Business Expense Reimbursements – California requires that employers reimburse their employees for required business expenses. Reimbursable expenses may include the costs of uniforms, tools, mileage reimbursements, as well as meals and lodging when travelling for work.
  • California Minimum Wage Law – As of January 1, 2008, the California minimum hourly wage is $8.00 an hour. Minimum wage is also set at the national level through federal employment laws (FLSA). When an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage.
  • California WARN Act – The California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) protects workers in the event of a covered mass layoff, plant closing, or relocation by requiring employers to give at least 60 days notice to affected employees.
  • Tips & Gratuities – Unlike federal minimum wage law, California does not allow employers of tipped employees to count tips towards the minimum wage requirement. In California employers are generally required to pay their tipped employees at least the California minimum wage.
  • Independent Contractor Law – Employers sometimes misclassify workers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” Incorrect classification can keep workers from getting their full rights and benefits under the law. In California, the law starts with the presumption that the worker is an employee.
  • California Exempt Employees – In California, employees are generally entitled to overtime pay and minimum wage unless they specifically exempted (exempt employees). Unfortunately, employees are often misclassified as exempt, which keeps them from getting overtime pay and other benefits.

Talk to an Employment Lawyer

If you believe your employer has violated California labor law, our team can help you determine if you have a claim and what damages you may be entitled to. Call or message us for a free and confidential consultation.


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A founding partner at the firm, Eric has negotiated groundbreaking settlements that...



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Girard Gibbs LLP has earned Tier-1 rankings for Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation and has been named in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list for four consecutive years since 2013. Mr. Girard and Mr. Gibbs have been additionally recognized among The Best Lawyers in America 2012-2016. Fourteen of the firm’s attorneys have been selected as Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

We have recovered over a billion dollars for our clients against the world’s largest corporations in cases concerning auto defects, drug and medical device injuries, data breaches, securities fraud, antitrust matters, whistleblower cases, employment law violations, and more. Our advocacy has been nationally recognized by the courts, our peers, and our clients.

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