Reasons Employees May Be Entitled to Back Pay

If your California employer fails to pay you as per the law and your pay rate, you may have the right to recover back pay. Back pay is generally the difference between the money you were paid and the amount you were supposed to be paid. You may also have the right to recover back pay after losing your job. There are many reasons why you may be eligible to back pay, and it is vital that you understand all these reasons. Below, we discuss some common reasons employees may be entitled to back pay in California.

Minimum Wage Violations

In California, it is against the law for employers to pay employees less than the minimum wage. Unfortunately, failure to pay employees the correct wage is quite common in California. You may be owed back pay if your employer fails to pay you at least the state’s minimum wage. In 2023, the minimum wage in California is $15.50 per hour. However, some cities and counties in the state have a higher minimum wage.

That said, it is crucial to note that the law provides several exceptions to the state minimum wage requirements. For instance, the California minimum wage laws do not apply to outside salespeople.

Overtime Pay Violations

When you work for over eight hours a day or forty hours a week, your employee may be required to pay you overtime wages. You are entitled to minimum overtime pay of 1.5 times your regular hourly pay rate. Additionally, if you work more than twelve hours a day or eight hours on the seventh day, your employer may be required to pay you at double the regular hourly pay rate. If your employer fails to pay you the correct rate for your overtime hours or fails to pay you any overtime, you may be entitled to back pay.

Failure To Provide Meal and Rest Breaks

Non-exempt employees in California who work for over five hours a day have the right to take a thirty-minute meal break. If you work over ten hours a day, you are entitled to a second thirty-minute meal break. California employees are also entitled to rest breaks. You are entitled to at least a ten-minute break for every four hours worked or a significant fraction thereof. If you are denied your meal or rest break, you are entitled to one additional hour of pay at your regular pay rate for every break you were denied.

Wrongful Termination

You may be entitled to back pay if you were wrongfully terminated from your job. Wrongful termination arises when a person is fired for an improper or unlawful reason. For instance, it is wrongful termination if you were fired for discriminatory reasons, for filing a workers’ compensation claim, or for engaging in whistleblower activities. If you were wrongfully terminated, you may be entitled to receive back pay from the date of your termination up to the date your claim is resolved or a judgment is determined.

Contact a California Employment Lawyer

If an employer has failed to pay you as per law and your pay rate or has wrongfully terminated you, contact a California employment lawyer to get legal help.