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Your wage rights as a California restaurant worker

As a worker in a restaurant, you are used to working under pressure for long hours. The restaurant industry is a difficult one, and while employees work extremely hard, they can unfortunately be especially vulnerable to exploitation. This is why it is so important that restaurant workers in the state of California understand their rights to a minimum wage and overtime pay.

If you realize that you have been underpaid by an employer, you have the right to address this and be legally protected from retaliation. It is usually best to raise these issues in writing so that you have clear documentation of all interactions in the case of a dispute.

What is the minimum wage of restaurant workers in California?

The standard minimum wage in California across all industries and irrespective of tipped and non-tipped workers is $11.00 per hour. However, in addition to this basic minimum wage, all workers have the right to paid overtime.

What are the overtime laws for restaurant workers in California?

When a restaurant worker has worked more than eight hours in any given day, the eighth to the twelfth hour must be paid at 150 percent of the normal hourly rate. Hours worked after the twelfth hour must be paid at double the normal hourly rate.

What are the penalties for employers that fail to adhere to the California wage and hour laws?

Employers are disincentivized from failing to adhere to wage and hour laws through penalties and ordered backpay. If you as a restaurant worker believe that you have been underpaid through the denial of overtime or minimum wage, you can take legal action to receive the backpay that you are owed. When an employer is charged with an initial violation, the company faces a fine of $50 and may be ordered to pay all missed wages. The employer will then be fined $100 for every subsequent violation.

It is important that you take action as soon as possible if you believe that you have been underpaid in California so that you can claim what you are owed and not be threatened by any reprisals.

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