Wage and Hour
Unpaid wages and wage and hour cases are a common situation many employees find themselves in when wronged by their employer. Federal law does regulate overtime pay as well as many other payment laws enforced by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Examples of common violations come in failure to pay minimum wage, failure to provide meal and rest breaks and unlawful penalties on the employee. SLG specializes in representing clients with wage and hour disputes with a proud track record of success even against the biggest Fortune 500 companies today.
Meal and Rest Breaks
- An employee is entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break anytime he or she works more than five hours.
- Every instance an employee misses a meal break is considered a separate violation of the law.
- An employee may waive the right a meal break if they so choose only if the shift does not last longer than 6 hours.
- An employee is entitled to a ten minute paid break for every four hours working.
Reimbursement of Expenses
With employees that are entitle to reimbursement for up to 4 months after the date of the expense, California law goes beyond federal law on reimbursement expenses. The state prohibits employers requiring employees from covering the expenses of the business. Including costs such as cell phone expenses, client entertainment, uniforms and supplies. Travel expenses can also be a common violation of the law.
Unpaid Overtime & Misclassification
If an employee is not classified as an “exempt” worker, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employer’s are required to pay overtime wages for hours employees work over 40 hours per week at a rate no less than 150% of their regular hourly rate. It is important to know if you are correctly classified as an exempt or non-exempt worker. After working over 12 hours per day an employee is obligated to 200% of their regular hourly rate known as “double time”. Further laws apply to employee’s who work a full seven days in a row and more.
Although determining whether an employee is an independent contractor or an employee of the company can be difficult, the rights and representation for the worker is drastically different between the two. For example, an employer is not required to pay payroll taxes, minimum wage or overtime or comply with meal period and rest breaks regulations if a worker is classified as an independent contractor. However, the employer is then not allowed to control and regulate its independent contractor’s the same way it can it’s employees. Determining the definition of an independent contractor is found through the interpretation of the court. There is also an economic test determining the nature of a workers employment. However, if your company is refusing benefits or rights to you as an employee by claiming you as an independent contractor, it is worth checking with professionals like us to see if you are being misclassified.
Pay Stub Violations
According to California state law, employers are required to provide essential information every time an employee receives his or her payment. These pieces of information includes gross wages earned, net wages earned, all deductions made, total hours worked, the start and end date of the pay period, the name of the employee and the name and address of the legal entity of the employer. This information must be separately listed but come with each pay period. Often times coming in the form of a pay stub. Damages for pay stub violations may be sought out for each pay period a worker’s pay stub does not include all required information.
Failure to Pay Wages Timely
According to California Labor Code, an employer is legally obligated to pay all earned and unpaid wages accrued by a terminated employee immediately upon termination of contract. Employees are also entitled to receive monetary valuation for any unused vacation days. With some exceptions to above rules, most employers are required to follow the above practice. If an employer intentionally neglects payment of wages they may be subject to Waiting Time Penalties and employee’s may be owed damages. SLG has worked hard to ensure our clients have received all damages due to them against small and large companies.
Regular Rate of Pay Claims
In calculating the regular rate of pay, an employer must include all forms of compensation paid to non-exempt employees, except for those items that may excluded by law. Accordingly, the regular rate of pay includes almost all forms of compensation, including non-discretionary bonuses, and even commissions. Most employers fail to take into consideration these non-discretionary bonuses and commissions when calculating the regular rate of pay when paying overtime.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law providing specific workplace rights and protections for employees. If you feel any of your rights or protections have not been respected, broken or provided we are here to guide you through the process of justice to receive your owed damages.