Being paid below Cali minimum wage and no breaks legal?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Being paid below Cali minimum wage and no breaks legal?

I live in California and work for a company that has less than 25 employees. The owner says he wont be paying me the California minimum because he doesnt have to. He also says that he doesn’t have to give me a break after certain hours at work because I am part-time. He sometimes gives us ridiculous time frames where we can’t finish tasks and have to work 10 to 15 minutes without pay because that’s just how he is. I work around 5 to 8 hours a day with no break. I would also like to know if there is a law against an employer calling us names like stupid and incompetent in front of other employees or in front of costumers to make us look and feel bad in an agressive matter, etc.

Asked on January 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Minimum wage *is* the legal minimum: that is, all employees, regardless of company size, must paid at least minimum; there is no exemption for small businesses. You may wish to contact your state department of labor to file a wage-and-hour complaint if you've not been paid minimum: you may be owed back wages (i.e. the extra money you should have received).
In your state, you must get a 30 minute (unpaid) meal break when working more than 5 hours in a day; it also appears that you need to get a paid 10-minute break for every 4 hours you work. So if you contact the department of labor, discuss the break situation with them, too.
However, employers are allowed to be rude, crude, profane, insulting, dismissive, etc., so he can call you names or try to make you fell bad.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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