Many California employers do not understand their legal obligation to pay “premium pay.” An employer’s failure to understand the obligation to pay “premium pay” when owed to an employee, can result in costly litigation pursuant to California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”). In general, “premium pay” is extra pay, at an employee’s regular rate of pay, that is owed to an hourly (non-exempt) employee when the employee fails to take a rest or meal period by the required time, due to action by the employer. For example, if an employer needs an employee to take a delayed rest or meal period because the employer is short staffed, the employee is owed one extra hour of pay, for a missed meal or rest period, up to a total of 2 premium pays in one work day. Specifically, Labor Code section 226.7 provides: “(a) No employer shall require an employee to work during any meal or rest period mandated by an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission. [¶] (b) If an employer fails to provide an employee a meal period or rest period in accordance with an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal or rest period is not provided.” For any questions, let us know at Floyd Skeren Manukian Langevin, (818) 206-9222.