A Comprehensive Guide to the California Labor Code

The California Labor Code is the set of laws that establish employers’ and workers’ rights and responsibilities in California. Learn more here from our attorneys.

Understanding the California Labor Code

The California labor code is mainly concerned with the rights and obligations of staff members and employees. The states dictate labor laws; however, all of these laws need to adhere to the federal statute, referred to as the National Labor Relations Act.

Labor law can likewise describe the set of requirements for working conditions and wage laws. In general, these laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, forbids child labor and sets the minimum wage.

If you have grievances against your employer or unfair employment termination without notice, contact a reputable attorney from the Dychter Law Offices for resources and representation.


History of the Labor Code of California

Before minimum wage employment laws came into place, it was entirely in employers’ hands to determine what an employee was paid. During the Great Depression, many were being paid wages that didn’t support an individual, let alone an entire family. The low wages were the reason the first federal minimum wage was set in 1938.

Thankfully, things have changed quite a bit since those times, and employees are now entitled to a wide range of rights in the workplace. However, this doesn’t mean that employers will always respect those rights, so if you are facing a violation of the Labor Code of California, you should contact a reputable labor law attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your options.

More Facts Regarding Labor Code Sections


When you are looking into labor code sections, you’re fortunate if you live in California! California has perhaps the most pro-worker laws in the nation. Per federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to public employees. It doesn’t, however, cover periodic breaks for food and rest. Under California labor law, employees are entitled to many rights and defenses and can recuperate significant compensation if companies break those rights

Companies likewise can not require you to waive your right to the defenses of California labor law. A current modification to the California labor code states that a work contract can not require a California employee to accept another state’s labor laws. Companies often slip a “choice-of-law” arrangement in their agreements that states the labor laws of the company’s state will govern the work relationship. However, California voids these arrangements. Your labor California employment law attorney can help you better understand how this may apply to your case.

Rights Under the California State Labor Code


What rights do you have under the wage and hours section of the California State Labor Code?

  • California law requires employees to be paid for a minimum of four hours if sent home early during an eight-hour shift.
  • Employees and independent contractors must be adequately classified, or employers can face fines of up to $25,000.
  • Employees must be paid one and half times their regular pay after working more than forty hours per week.
  • A minimum wage of $14 per hour must be paid.

Typically, California labor law is pro-worker. The damages an employee may receive are more significant than they are under federal law.

Recent Responses to Employment Laws

In recent years, there has been a negative response to employment laws. Some employers have been working to reduce the legal protections given to workers in the name of higher profits. Employment laws were instituted to protect workers from their employers. Without this, workers are vulnerable to a variety of threats. 

The essential work laws consist of the following:

  • Child labor
  • Discrimination
  • Employee payment
  • Health laws
  • Minimum wage
  • Missed breaks 
  • Workplace security provisions
  • Unfair termination of employment

Hire a law office with experience with California labor laws if you have faced any of the above labor law issues. 


CA Labor Laws and Discrimination

Discrimination can be shown in several ways. If a business declines to employ somebody because they are over forty years of age, that can be discrimination. If a company refuses to promote an individual because they are of one race or another, that can be discrimination. If a business fires an individual since they belong to a particular religion, that is discrimination.

If you feel that your rights have been disregarded, please see an experienced labor lawyer for a free consultation. When you consult the Dychter Law Offices, we will provide information and advocacy as you consider taking your employer to court.

Definition of Employee California Labor Code


According to the definition of employee in the California labor code, employees are entitled to one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for time worked between 8 and 12 hours in any workday and double their standard pay rate for time worked over 12 hours.

They are also entitled to one and a half times their regular pay rate for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day and double for hours worked on the seventh straight day of 8-hour shifts. You should search for an attorney from a reputable law office if you wish, as a whistleblower, to report your employer for failing to compensate your fellow employees adequately.


California Overtime Law Labor Code

Unfortunately, in many cases, some labor codes, specifically California Overtime Law Labor Code section 510 governing overtime and section 512 governing meal breaks, do not protect public employees. Therefore, there are no penalties to dissuade employers from overworking a department of civil servants.

If you or someone you work with was terminated from your job, it is vital to research your rights and seek an experienced law firm to ensure your interests are covered.

California Workers Compensation Code

The California Workers Compensation Code, assigned by a State Rating Bureau or the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), is a three or four-digit code that differentiates employees’ various jobs or responsibilities. Containing nearly 800 class codes, it provides the basis for both wages and insurance rates. 

Generally, the more dangerous the job, the more the workers are paid compared to their contemporaries. Your attorney will be able to explain further how the Workers Compensation Code works.


Retain a CA Law Firm to Provide Information and Support

According to CA Labor Codes, companies of a particular size must provide employees’ insurance coverage. This insurance coverage covers the medical expenses of the employees’ injuries. The insurance coverage likewise supplies a partial wage while the worker is recuperating from the injury. In exchange for the defenses of employees’ settlement, the workers have restricted rights to sue their company for carelessness.

If you have any questions concerning California’s labor laws or you would like to schedule a consultation with our firm, visit the Dychter Law Office in San Diego, or call (619) 487-0777 for fair treatment and unrivaled advocacy.