Some California employers pay their workers by the piece. In other words, the workers do not get an hourly rate. Rather, they get a certain amount of money per item of whatever it is that they are producing.
While piece-rate compensation is legal in California, it is subject to certain requirements. These requirements are set forth in Labor Code section 226.2.
Section 226.2 defines the term “other nonproductive time” as “time under the employer’s control, exclusive of rest and recovery periods, that is not directly related to the activity being compensated on a piece-rate basis.” As explained below, piece-rate workers must be paid separately for their nonproductive time. Piece-rate workers must also be paid separately for overtime and rest breaks.
For example, section 226.2(a)(1) explicitly provides that piece-rate employees must be “compensated for rest and recovery periods and other nonproductive time separate from any piece-rate compensation.”