CACI 2701 Nonpayment of Minimum Wage—Essential Factual Elements (Lab. Code, § 1194)

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

2701 Nonpayment of Minimum Wage—Essential Factual Elements (Lab. Code, § 1194)

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] owes [him/her/nonbinary pronoun] the difference between the wages paid by [name of defendant] and the wages [name of plaintiff] should have been paid according to the minimum wage rate required by state law. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1.That [name of plaintiff] performed work for [name of defendant];

2.That [name of plaintiff] was paid less than the minimum wage by [name of defendant] for some or all hours worked; and

3.The amount of wages owed.

The minimum wage for labor performed from [beginning date] to [ending date] was [minimum wage rate] per hour.

An employee is entitled to be paid the legal minimum wage rate even if the employee agrees to work for a lower wage.

New September 2003; Revised June 2005, June 2014, June 2015, May 2020

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Directions for Use

The court must determine the prevailing minimum wage rate from applicable state or federal law. (See, e.g., Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11000.) The jury must be instructed accordingly.

Both liquidated damages (See Lab. Code, § 1194.2) and civil penalties (See Lab. Code, § 1197.1) may be awarded on a claim for nonpayment of minimum wage.

Wage and hour claims are governed by two sources of authority: the provisions of the Labor Code and a series of 18 wage orders, adopted by the Industrial Welfare Commission. (See Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (2015) 60 Cal.4th 833, 838 [182 Cal.Rptr.3d 124, 340 P.3d 355].) The California Labor Code and the IWC’s wage orders provide that certain employees are exempt from minimum wage requirements (for example, outside salespersons; see Lab. Code, § 1171), and that under certain circumstances employers may claim credits for meals and lodging against minimum wage pay (see Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11000, subd. 3, § 11010, subd. 10, and § 11150, subd. 10(B)). The assertion of an exemption from wage and hour laws is an affirmative defense. (See generally Ramirez v. Yosemite Water Co. (1999) 20 Cal.4th 785, 794 [85 Cal.Rptr.2d 844, 978 P.2d 2].) The advisory committee has chosen not to write model instructions for the numerous fact-specific affirmative defenses to minimum wage claims. (Cf. CACI No. 2720, Affirmative Defense—Nonpayment of Overtime—Executive Exemption, and CACI No. 2721, Affirmative Defense—Nonpayment of Overtime—Administrative Exemption.)

Sources and Authority

Employee Right to Recover Minimum Wage or Overtime Compensation. Labor Code section 1194(a).

Recovery of Liquidated Damages. Labor Code section 1194.2.

Civil Penalties, Restitution and Liquidated Damages. Labor Code section 1197.1(a).

“Wages” Defined. Labor Code section 200.

Payment of Uncontested Wages Required. Labor Code section 206(a).

Action by Department to Recover Unpaid Minimum Wage or Overtime Compensation. Labor Code section 1193.6(a).

Duties of Industrial Welfare Commission. Labor Code section 1173.

“Labor Code section 1194 accords an employee a statutory right to recover unpaid wages from an employer who fails to pay the minimum wage.” (Flowers v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 66, 74 [196 Cal.Rptr.3d 352].)

“Labor Code section 1194 does not define the employment relationship nor does it specify who may be liable for unpaid wages. Specific employers and employees become subject to the minimum wage requirements only through and under the terms of wage orders promulgated by the IWC, the agency formerly authorized to regulate working conditions in California.” (Flowers, supra, 243 Cal.App.4th at p. 74.)

“The provision of board, lodging or other facilities may sometimes be considered in determining whether an employer has met minimum wage requirements for nonexempt employees.” (Kao v. Holiday (2017) 12 Cal.App.5th 947, 958 [219 Cal.Rptr.3d 580], original italics.)

Secondary Sources

3 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Agency and Employment, §§ 417–421, 437–439
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 11-B, Coverage And Exemptions—In General, ¶ 11:121 (The Rutter Group)
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 11-D, Payment of Wages, ¶¶  11:456, 11:513, 11:545, 11:547 (The Rutter Group)
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 11-F, Payment of Overtime Compensation, ¶  11:730 et seq. (The Rutter Group)
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 11-J, Enforcing California Laws Regulating Employee Compensation, ¶¶ 11:1342, 11:1478.5 (The Rutter Group)
1 Wilcox, California Employment Law, Ch. 2, Minimum Wages, §§ 2.02[1], 2.03[1], 2.04[1], 2.05[1]; Ch. 5, Administrative and Judicial Remedies Under Wage and Hour Laws, § 5.72 (Matthew Bender)
21 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 250, Employment Law: Wage and Hour Disputes, §§ 250.13[1][a], 250.14[d] (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Employment Litigation §§ 4:67, 4:76 (Thomson Reuters)