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California Overtime Law: Mexican Farmworkers on Strike

Baja California is facing a significant strike of its farmworkers, according to a recent Latin Post report. Millions of dollars worth of crops have rotted in west coast farms as a result of Mexican farmworkers’ unity in protesting low wages, poor working conditions and workers’ rights abuses. More than 200 demonstrators have been arrested since the protests began as a result of vandalism, rock throwing and riots. Earlier this year, Mexico’s agricultural sector created an alliance with industry trade groups in an effort to improve conditions for farmworkers; however, the group has yet to publicly respond to the unrest. If you or someone you know thinks an employer owes unpaid wages, contact an experienced California overtime law attorney.

California Overtime Laws

California’s Department of Industrial Relations governs overtime laws. State law requires that employers pay overtime at a rate of one-and-one-half times regular pay. This overtime rate applies to all hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek or more than 8, but less than 12, hour workday. These provisions apply to non-exempt employees over the age of 18, as well as any minor that is as young as 16 and not required to attend school or otherwise is prohibited from working.

Some exceptions, however, apply to this overtime law. If an exemption pertains, this means the overtime rules do not apply to a particular class of employees. For example, some salaried employees meet the federal and state tests for exempt status, or unless specifically exempted from the overtime provisions of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders. California law requires employer to pay whether the additional overtime work was authorized or not, however, an employer may discipline an employee who violates the overtime policy without required authorization.

Under state law, meal and rest periods must be provided to non-exempt employees, which include a 10-minute rest break for every four hours of work and a meal break of at least 30 minutes for more than five hours of work in a workday. Employees must be relieved of all job-related work duties during these rest and meal periods.

California Overtime Law Attorneys

Experienced California overtime law attorneys can help you retrieve due wages. If you or someone you know is not being paid – at the least – California’s state minimum wage or if you believe an employer owes back wages, you are entitled to the right compensation. An employer may be underpaying, withholding earned overtime pay, or neglecting to pay timely. Contact an experienced California overtime law attorney at Levine & Blit, PLLC for a free analysis of the legal issues in your case. Contact or call (212) 967-3000 today to schedule your Free Case Evaluation.

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