Can My Employer Pay Me A Piece Rate & Not an Hourly Wage for All Hours Worked in California?

The question is whether your employer can pay you a piece rate and not an hourly wage for all hours worked in California.

The answer…

Yes, your employer has to pay you for all hours that you’re required to be at work.

In the past, employers used to argue that they could avoid paying minimum wage for all hours worked, as long as the piece rate averaged out to at least minimum wage for all hours worked.

For example, your employer might argue that even on slow days, you’re getting $250-$300, which averages out to well more than minimum wage.

Fortunately, California courts have specifically rejected this argument.

When an employer agrees to pay an employee on a piece rate basis, those payments count only towards the activities for which the piece rate is being paid.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting


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