California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

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

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2701.Nonpayment of Minimum Wage—Essential Factual
Elements (Lab. Code, § 1194)
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] owes [him/her] 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
he or she agrees to work for a lower wage.
New September 2003; Revised June 2005, June 2014, June 2015
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, Affırmative
Defense—Nonpayment of Overtime—Executive Exemption, and CACI No. 2721,
Affırmative 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
• “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.)
Secondary Sources
3 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Agency and Employment,
§§ 382–384, 398, 399
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, 11:499, 11:513, 11:545, 11:547 (The Rutter Group)
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 11-F, Payment
of Overtime Compensation, ¶ 11:955.2 (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)