Santa Monica Wage and Hour

Santa Monica Lawyer for Overtime Claims

Santa Monica is located in western Los Angeles County, California. Its 2010 population was 89,736. Many businesses are headquartered in Santa Monica, including Hulu, TOMS Shoes, Lionsgate Films, Miramax, Fatburger, Universal Music Group, Activision Blizzard, and Riot Games. Top employers in the city include the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica College, and RAND Corporation. Regardless of where you work, your employer must pay you all the wages to which you’re entitled. If your employer violates federal, state, or local laws regarding wages, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a lawsuit. Whether your employer failed to pay minimum wage or didn’t pay the correct overtime, you can consult a Santa Monica wage and hour attorney at the Calderone Law Firm for guidance regarding your legal options.

Wage and Hour Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal statute governing wage and hour issues. It prescribes minimum wage standards and overtime pay for nonexempt employees. The California Labor Code also provides minimum wage standards and overtime standards. Certain employees that are considered executive, professional, or administrative, along with other salaried workers, may be exempt from the FLSA and the Labor Code. However, Santa Monica has a higher minimum wage than the one set under the FLSA or Labor Code. As the highest wage, the local minimum wage rate takes precedence and must be paid by employers in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Ordinance

The minimum wage in Santa Monica effective from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 depends on the number of employees an employer has. Large employers with at least 26 employees need to pay a minimum wage rate of $14.25 per hour. Small employers with up to 25 employees need to pay $13.25 per hour. Employers must pay all employees that perform at least 2 hours of work in a workweek in Santa Monica the applicable minimum wage based on the employer’s size. If you believe your employer is out of compliance with these rules, a wage and hour lawyer serving Santa Monica can potentially help you assert your rights.

It is important to be aware that the minimum wage for larger employers will become $15 per hour on July 1, 2020. The minimum wage for small employers will be adjusted on July 1 of 2020 and 2021 with the goal of eventually getting to $15 per hour for all employees.

Santa Monica’s local ordinance allows employees to sue for any violation of it. Violations could involve a failure to pay minimum wage, but they could also involve retaliation or failure to comply with the notice and records requirements. If you prevail in your civil suit under the ordinance, you’re entitled to back wages, payment of any unlawfully withheld sick leave, penalties up to $100 for each day the violation occurred or continued, reinstatement, and injunctive relief. The amount owed can be trebled for willful action.

You may be fearful about raising wage and hour issues with your boss. However, as referenced above, the ordinance protects you against retaliation for complaining or pursuing action against an employer for minimum wage law violations. It also protects you if you assist in investigations or assert your rights under the law. Under the ordinance, if your employer takes adverse action against you within 90 days of you exercising your rights, there is a rebuttable presumption that the adverse action was taken in retaliation. A dedicated Santa Monica wage and hour lawyer can help you seek redress following retaliatory treatment by your employer.


Under California law, overtime is paid at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours, up to and including 12 hours in any workday and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Overtime is paid at double your regular rate of pay for all hours worked that are more than 12 hours in any workday and for all hours beyond 8 on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Overtime rules apply to all nonexempt employees, but there are several exemptions and exceptions under California’s overtime law.

Other Protections

If you are an employee who is learning as defined under Labor Code Section 1192, you need to be paid at least 85% of the minimum wage rounded to the closest nickel during your first 160 hours of employment. After that you’re supposed to be paid the relevant minimum wage under the ordinance.

Consult a Seasoned Wage and Hour Attorney in Santa Monica

Employers must abide by wage and hour laws and should not retaliate against you for raising concerns. If you believe you were harmed by a wage and hour violation in Santa Monica, you can talk to an experienced lawyer at the Calderone Law Firm about your situation. We knowledgeably and skillfully represent workers who’ve suffered losses as a result of employer misconduct. Call us at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.