The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects all employees working in the United States by providing things like a mandatory minimum wage as well as overtime regulations. Under the FLSA, all non-exempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly wages for all the time they spend working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.
In addition to the FLSA, each state has its own laws to regulate the employees that work within the boundaries of the state. State labor laws have their own minimum wage, which can be higher or lower than the FLSA’s minimum wage (employers must pay the higher of the two minimum wages). They also provide their own definitions of overtime, double time, and some even require mandatory breaks for employees.
California is one state that requires its employers to provide all their hourly workers with regular breaks throughout the day. For every four hours an employee works, she is entitled to one paid, uninterrupted rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours worked, employees are entitled to one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break of at least half an hour. For every day an employee misses one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of pay, in addition to all wages and bonuses earned that day. Continue reading