Overview of California’s Labor and Employment Laws - Labor Department
Castellan Law Group APC
Employment laws in California are some of the most comprehensive in the country.
California has always been a trendsetter in labor regulations, with the state government enacting laws that protect workers’ rights and ensure fair and equitable treatment in the workplace. If you are a California employer, it is essential to be aware of these employment laws to avoid legal issues and maintain compliance. Below are some of the most important laws that California employers need to know:
• Minimum Wage: Effective January 1, 2023, California’s minimum wage is currently $15.50
per hour for all employees. Some cities and counties in California also have higher minimum
wages than the state’s rate.
• Overtime: Employers must pay overtime at a rate of one and a half times the regular rate of
pay for any hours worked over eight in a day, over 40 in a week, or for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Employers must also pay
double the regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 12 in a day or over eight hours on
the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
• Meal and Rest Breaks: California law requires that employers provide employees with a
meal break of at least 30 minutes for every five hours worked. Employers must also provide
employees with a rest break of at least ten minutes for every four hours worked. If an
employer fails to provide these breaks, they must pay the employee an additional hour of pay
at the employee’s regular rate for each missed break.
• Anti-Discrimination Laws: California has some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in
the country. Employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of race, color,
religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetic
• Family and Medical Leave: Employers with 50 or more employees must provide eligible
employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain family or medical
reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a seriously ill family member,
or the employee's own serious health condition.
• Paid Sick Leave: California employers must provide eligible employees with up to three
days of paid sick leave per year. Employers may also choose to provide additional sick leave,
but they must comply with the state's minimum requirements.
• Workers’ Compensation: California law requires that employers provide workers'
compensation insurance to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. Employers
must provide employees with information about their workers’ compensation rights and
• Retirement Plan: During the summer of 2022, a new law required employers in California
with five or more employees to offer a retirement plan (e.g. through a private-market option
or the state-run CalSavers program) which manages a payroll deposit retirement savings
arrangement. This new law expanded the definition of an “eligible employer” to include a
person or entity that has at least one eligible employee while excluding sole proprietorships,
self-employed individuals or other business entities that do not employ any individuals other
than the business owners.
In addition to the above laws, California also has specific regulations regarding harassment,
wage and hour laws, and safety in the workplace. Employers must also comply with federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Employers who violate California employment laws can face significant legal consequences,
including fines, penalties, and lawsuits. Therefore, it is essential for California employers to stay up-to-date with these laws and ensure compliance. Employers should consult with legal counsel or human resources professionals to ensure that their employment practices are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. By doing so, employers can protect themselves and their employees and maintain a positive workplace environment.
Get more information:
If you have a business with employees and need assistance in labor law compliance, please
contact our office for a consultation. Our firm prides itself on one-on-one consultations with an experienced attorney who can assist you in complying with California’s mandatory rules and regulations.
Contact us today for an initial consultation:
Castellan Law Group APC
1100 W La Habra Blvd.
La Habra, CA 90631
Tel: (626) 662-0286
This is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Connection and communication to this law firm via email or other electronic transmission do not constitute an attorney-client relationship with Castellan Law Group, APC unless a separate written agreement is signed by you and Castellan Law Group, APC as to the nature of any relationship and the amount to be charged for the intended legal services.