What Are Wage and Hour Laws
The term "wage and hour laws" is generally used to refer to a body of law which sets the minimum wages, overtime compensation and working conditions that must be provided for all but certain categories of exempt employees. California employers are subject to the wage and hour laws of both the federal and the California state governments. In addition to provisions of the California Labor Code, and generally applicable wage orders found in the California Code of Regulations, various industries and occupations in California are subject to specially drafted wage orders which apply specifically and only to them.
Other laws Regulating Wages
In addition to the statutes and regulations typically referred to as "wage and hour laws," several California statutes, regulations and case opinions apply to all "wages," however calculated, whether by time, task, piece, commission or any other basis. Among these are laws which require that an employee be paid on regular, published paydays, at least twice per month, and be provided with a statement of all wages earned and paid, and all deductions. Other laws prohibit the employer from taking back any part of wages previously paid, or making any deductions from wages which are not legally required or authorized in advance, in writing, by the employee; prohibit the employer from passing along to the employee any part of the employer's cost of doing business; and require the employer to reimburse the employee for all expenses incurred by the employee in carrying out the duties of his or her job.
Special considerations apply when the employee's compensation is to be calculated on a commission basis. If the employee's status is anything other than a statutorily defined "outside salesperson," the employee must be paid at least the current minimum wage for all time spent on the job. If the employee's compensation is agreed to be a certain percentage of gross sales, then the employee will be entitled to that percentage on all sales "procured" by the employee, whether of not some other person intervened or concluded the sale. In addition, and if there is no written compensation contract to the contrary, an employee cannot be required to pay back or have deducted from future pay any amount of any regular draw against commissions taken by the employee; and all commissions earned by the employee during employment must be paid, as sales are concluded and as they become due after the termination of the employee's employment.
If you have questions about the wage, hour and compensation laws that apply to your employment situation, contact the California Employment Law offices of Virginia H. Gaburo & Associates to find out your rights and duties under the law, and how to enforce and abide by them.
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