Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements


No announcement yet.

Mechanic - Wages Question California

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mechanic - Wages Question California

    I have a question about wages. I am a mechanic who gets paid flat rate per hour. Recently the business I work for has been slow and I have not been able to clock more than 25 hours a week under the flat rate rule. I stay at work at least 50 hours a week. My question is is there a law that requires a business to pay a minimum amount of hours per week, like say 30 hours for the 50 hours a week I put in even though I clocked only 25 hours of flat rate?

    My previous employer was paying me 30 hours minimum if I did not clock over 30 hours of flat rate. My new employer said he has not heard about this before and will not pay me a minimum set hour. Does my new employer have the right to do that?

    And if there is no law or policy in requiring my employer to pay me a set amount of hours can I leave work early, like put in 8 hours of work instead of my 10 hours work schedule a day?

  • #2
    You need to be paid at least minimum wage for all hours that you are either working or that you are spending "engaged to wait". Overtime is potentially a little more complicated. What type of mechanic you are and what type of industry you are working for sometimes makes a difference. For example, an mechanic working for an Auto Dealer is not legally entitled to the OT premium while a mechanic doing exactly the same work for an employer who is not an Auto Dealer (say a garage) would be eligible for the OT premium.

    The law you mentioned is a federal law called FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). This law is enforced by the federal Department of Labor (DOL). I am including a pointer to one of their fact sheets.


    There is no general law that the employer is required to pay for time not worked. There is always the possibility of a very narrow exception such as reporting time or contractual language.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      DAW, thanks for the info.

      I am an auto mechanic who is currently working for a garage shop.


      • #4
        OK. Garage shops are not subject to the Auto Dealer exception. So you are probably subject to both the CA-MW and CA-OT requirements. You can file a wage claim with CA-DLSE if you are not getting this.

        Just to be clear, it would be legal on a go-forward basis for your employer to cut back on your hours. You have to be paid for the hours that you are either working or being required to "hand around" the shop at a rate no less then CA-MW. However there is nothing that says the employer must keep you "around" waiting for something to happen.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Overtime question

          Lets make no mistake about it. If you have to be at workplace, you are working whether you are actually doing anything or not. As long as you are not free to leave and do what you want, you are at work for all purposes of compensation, overtime, etc...

          This sounds like a violation of overtime laws, and you are likely to be due overtime compensation for all hours worked and not paid for.

          Thanks, and feel free to follow up.

          Arkady Itkin
          California Employment Lawyer
          San Francisco / San Jose / Sacramento

          Arkady Itkin
          Attorney at Law
          San Francisco / Sacramento / San Jose


          • #6

            Also if you use your own tools your minimum wage would be twice the "normal" minimum wage. OT even more.
            I have been interested in employment rights for some time, however I am not a lawyer. Always consult with an attorney, as they are more knowledgeable.


            • #7
              Mechanic California

              Joe is correct insofar as if you do not make double the minimum wage you can be reimbursed the cost of your tools. The DLSE manual states:

              45.5.7 Tools. When tools or equipment are required by the employer or are necessary to the
              performance of a job, such tools and equipment shall be provided and maintained by the employer, except that an employee whose wages are at least two (2) times the
              minimum wage provided herein may be required to provide and maintain hand tools
              and equipment customarily required by the trade or craft. This subsection (B) shall not
              apply to apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship
              45.5.8 Remedy. Failure of an employee to receive two times the minimum wage while still
              obligated to purchase the tool would result in the employer being liable for the cost of
              the tool or equipment under Labor Code § 2802.

     Definition Of “Hand Tools And Equipment”. DLSE has opined that the term
              “hand tools and equipment” is to be given its literal meaning. Such hand held tools and
              hand held equipment do not include power driven tools or equipment. The IWC
              intended that the term be limited to hand held tools such as hammers or screw drivers.
              The word equipment is meant to encompass hand held measuring instruments or like
              apparatus. The IWC Statement As To The Basis of the 2000 Orders states: “This
              exception is quite narrow and is limited to hand (as opposed to power) tools and
              personal equipment, such as tool belts or tool boxes, that are needed by the employee
              to secure those hand tools.”


              • #8
                how about labor code 2802

                reimbursement of expenses...

                "California Wage and Hour Class Action Attorneys"

                Disclaimer: The above correspondence does not constitute legal advice nor establish an attorney-client relationship. You should seek the advice of independent legal counsel before relying upon, acting upon or not acting upon any information contained in this correspondence.


                • #9
                  Mechanic California

                  As listed above, 25.5.8's remedy is reimbursement under 2802 when the employee is paid less than required.


                  The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.