California Wage and Hour Laws

California’s wage and hour laws rank among the toughest in the nation. When federal law sets a standard, California law often goes beyond that standard, requiring more of employers. With dual sets of regulations, it make compliance challenging for California employers.​

This section explains federal and state wage and hour laws. You will learn how federal and state law interrelate and which prevails when provisions conflict. It thoroughly discusses all sources of wage and hour law:

  • The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • The California Labor Code
  • Wage Orders created by California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC)

The section also explains:

  • The 17 California Wage Orders and how to determine which apply to your business
  • How the law is enforced
  • Requirements for record keeping
  • Penalties for noncompliance

For information on how specific industries may be regulated, see Wage and Hour Requirements for Specific Industries.​

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