Wages and Salaries

This section begins with a comprehensive discussion of California’s minimum standards for straight-time hourly wages, incentive pay and special pay arrangements as required by the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders.

The issue of overtime is discussed in Overtime Pay, the issue of hours worked is discussed in Hours of Work and Recording Time Worked, and the issue of exempt versus nonexempt status is discussed in Exempt/Nonexempt.

Paying employees the correct amount, timely payment of wages and the way in which payment is made are equally important. This section discusses these issues, including how and when you must pay terminating employees.

Finally, this section describes rules about tools, uniforms and equipment, work facilities and industry specific wage laws covering domestic services, garment industries and agriculture.​​

  • Wage and Hour Law: Definitions of Terms

    Wage and Hour Law: Definitions of TermsThis section defines some of the key terms used in wage and hour law.  More »

  • Minimum Wage

    Minimum WageWhen state and federal law differ, you must comply with the more restrictive requirement. California state minimum wage is higher, so that is the rate that you must pay employees in California.​​​  More »

    Read about 2016 minimum wage increases and local ordinances.
  • Piece Rate Pay

    Piece Rate PayA piece rate is based on a completing a particular task or making a particular piece of goods. It is a method of payment based on units of production.  More »

    ​​Read about 2016 legislation.
  • Split Shift Pay

    Split Shift PayA split shift is any two distinct work periods separated by more than a one-hour meal period.  More »

  • Shift Differential Pay

    Shift Differential PayThough many employers choose to pay a small premium, called a “shift differential,” to employees who work swing, graveyard or other less desirable shifts, no law requires you to pay a shift differential.  More »

  • Reporting Time Pay

    Reporting Time PayReporting time pay is designed to discourage you from requiring employees to report to a job unless there is work to be done. You must pay reporting time pay in a number of circumstances.  More »

  • On-Call and Standby Pay

    On-Call and Standby PayIf you require an employee to stay at home or at work on an on-call or standby status, that time may qualify as hours worked.   More »

  • Power Outage Pay

    Power Outage PayThis page explains how to pay employees during rolling blackouts or power failures.  More »

  • Timely Payment

    Timely PaymentIn addition to paying the correct amount of compensation to employees, you are expected to pay it on time and in the manner required by law.  More »

  • Expense Reimbursements

    Expense ReimbursementsYou must reimburse employees for all monies that they necessarily expend or lose, directly related to performing their duties or following your directions.  More »

    ​Read about a 2015 agency actions and a 2015 court case.
  • Form of Wage Payment

    Form of Wage PaymentAll paychecks must be payable in cash, on demand and without discount at some established place of business in the state, the name and address of which must appear on the paycheck.   More »

    ​​Read about 2015 and 2016 legislation.
  • Wage and Hour Requirements for Specific Industries

    Wage and Hour Requirements for Specific IndustriesThis section discusses wage and hour requirements for specific jobs and industries.  More »

    Read about 2015 and 2016 agency actions.