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Minimum wage and overtime laws in California

California has progressive minimum wage and overtime laws that ensure workers receive a fair wage, and bonus compensation when they work beyond the usual hours of a workday. Here's what the law says you're required to receive -- at a minimum -- as an hourly wage earner in California:

-- The minimum wage is 10.50 an hour if the business employs 26 or more workers. If the business is less than 26 employees, you're required to receive $10.00 an hour at a minimum. There are a few special categories of employees who could receive less.

-- If you work more than eight hours in a day, or more than 40 hours in a week, you will receive time and a half for the additional hours worked. This applies to the majority of jobs with some exceptions.

-- If you work more than 12 hours in a day, or more than eight hours on the seventh day of the workweek, you're required to receive double time.

Considering the above rules, here's what your normal compensation and overtime compensation would look like as a minimum wage-earning janitor in Sacramento, who is working for a cleaning company of less than 26 workers:

-- For your first eight hours of work on Monday, you'll receive $10 an hour, which is $80.

-- For your next four hours of work on Monday, you'll receive time and a half, or $15 an hour, which is an additional $60.

-- For an additional two hours of work on Monday, which brings you past a 12-hour day, you'll receive double time, or $20 an hour. This is an additional $40.

Congratulations. You just worked a 14-hour day, and benefited greatly from California's overtime rules. You received a total of $180 for this long day of hard work.

Although California minimum wage and overtime laws exist to protect workers from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers, many wage earners are unlawfully denied the overtime they deserve. If this has happened to you, Perkins & Associates, a Sacramento employment law firm, is available to listen to your story and advise you of your legal rights and options.

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