Wage and hour violations are all too common in California. Although employers are required to comply with state and federal laws in the way they pay their employees, they often fail to do so, and their employees are the ones who suffer for their noncompliance. 

If you know or suspect that your employer is guilty of wage and hour violations, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced California employment lawyer to find out what recourse you have under the law. At the Law Office of Michael Hsueh, we represent employees whose rights have been violated and help them to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. You can rely on us to fight hard for your rights.


For the most part, wage and hour laws are fairly simple and straightforward. Minimum wage in California is $9 per hour in 2015, which will increase to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016. Employers are required to pay non-exempt employees time-and-a-half overtime pay for all hours worked over 8 hours in a workday and over 40 hours in a workweek. Employees are also entitled to paid meal and rest breaks under the law. 

Employers violate wage and hour laws in many different ways. Common violations include:

  • Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
  • Failure to pay minimum wage
  • Failure to provide meal and rest breaks
  • Requiring non-exempt employees to work through lunch breaks
  • Requiring employees to take unpaid rest breaks
  • Requiring non-exempt employees to open or close a business without pay
  • Requiring employees to “work off the clock” for any reason
  • Structuring pay by the job or piece, so that employees make less than the minimum hourly wage
  • Failure to pay overtime for hours over 8 per day or over 40 per workweek
  • Failure to pay employees for all hours worked
  • Failure to reimburse employees for uniforms and other work expenses


For wage and hour law purposes, there are two types of employees: exempt and nonexempt. Per the California definition, exempt employees regularly and customarily exercise independent judgment and discretion in the performance of their jobs. This involves comparing and evaluating possible courses of action and making decisions. Also, exempt employees in California generally must earn a monthly salary of at least twice the amount a full-time employee would earn at the state minimum wage. 

Nonexempt employees are often lower-skilled and typically handle general production activities and non-management functions. Although the question of exempt vs. nonexempt employees is a complex area of the law, management and professional employees are generally more likely to be exempt, while lower-ranked employees are often non-exempt. 

Exempt employees do not receive time-and-a-half overtime pay or other benefits that nonexempt employees are entitled to receive. To avoid paying overtime and other benefits, some employers misclassify employees who hold non-managerial positions as managers and treat them as exempt from the requirements and protections of wage and hour laws. 

If you have been misclassified as an exempt employee, you may be entitled to claim compensation for unpaid overtime and other benefits. Our San Jose employment law attorney can evaluate your case and explain your options under the law. 


At the Law Office of Michael Hsueh, we are dedicated to protecting your rights as an employee and aggressively pursuing the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive if your rights have been violated. Contact our office to arrange for a free case consultation if you have been the victim of wage and hour violations under state or federal law.

When we represent you, Attorney Michael Hsueh will tailor a strategy specifically for your case. He will handle your case personally, give you access to his cell phone, and answer your calls and emails as quickly as possible. In addition, you will pay us no fees until you obtain a recovery. You can have confidence that your case is in good hands with the Law Office of Michael Hsueh.