4 Wage and Hour Problems Faced by California Warehouse Workers

by | Jul 1, 2020 | Wage & Hour

The population of hourly workers in warehouses is exploding at large companies such as Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon open these facilities to keep up with growth caused by Covid-19 and the increase of online shopping and delivery. Though these workers provide vital services to keep homes stocked and the economy moving, they often face a number of common wage and hour issues with their employers.

Minimum Wage

As of January 1, 2021, California has a minimum wage of $14.00 per hour for companies such as Wal-Mart with more than 25 employees. Some counties and localities within the state have even higher minimum wages than required by California. However, all these workers, whether full-time or part-time, are legally entitled a minimum wage.

Overtime Wages

Any California warehouse worker who performs more than a certain amount of work in a prescribed period is entitled to pay at “time and a half,” or 1.5 times their usual hourly wage rate, for overtime. Work requiring overtime pay in California is:

  • Over 8 hours in a single work day
  • Over 40 hours per single work week
  • More than 6 days in a single work week

Beyond that, California further requires “double time,” also known as premium overtime for work past 12 hours in a single work day or the 8th hour of work on a 7th consecutive day of work. Double time workers must be paid at least 2 times their usual hourly wage.

Meal and Rest Breaks

Most California warehouse workers are non-exempt employees, so they are legally entitled by state law to 30 minutes for a meal break if they work more than 5 hours in one day. They must also be permitted paid rest breaks of no less than 10 minutes for every 4 hours they spend working in a single day.

Off-The-Clock Work

Non-exempt workers are prohibited by California and federal law from being denied pay for time spent working. Even if the worker is off the clock, they must be paid for work done. Employers who ask an employee to work before clocking in or after clocking out violate the law. California goes beyond federal law, stating that employers may be liable even if they do not explicitly tell employees to perform off-the-clock work. If they knew or should have known and did nothing to stop unpaid work, they can be liable.

Get Help from a Lawyer

Warehouse workers keep our economy going and perform difficult jobs daily – facing workplace difficulties outside the scope of their tasks shouldn’t be part of the job. If you have experienced wage and hour difficulties at work, contact the experienced California employment lawyers at Rothschild & Alwill, APC today to get help and find a solution.