If your employer has unfairly compensated you for work you dutifully carried out, the process of recovering the wages you deserve can be a challenging and painful process. Employees who believe that they have not been provided with an overtime pay, minimum wage or have been forced to work off-the-clock hours can often seek alleged violations of California wage and hour laws.
Whether you are on an hourly wage or salary, you may have concerns about your compensation. Employers in Los Angeles sometimes intentionally engage in misclassification, classifying workers as salaried employees to avoid paying overtime wages.
Several employers have made honest errors and others have deliberately paid their employees less than they are in due. Regardless of the situation, it is unlikely that your employer will regard your wage and hour claim as valid. It is thus in your best interest to contact Southern California wage and hour lawyer Eric A. Panitz to help defend and successfully settle your wage and hour case.
What are the California wage and hour laws?
Wage and hour laws set the basic requirements for salaries and hours worked by the employee. This covers all of the employment concerns that every worker is entitled to, including:
- Minimum wage
- Overtime pay
- Meal and rest breaks
- What is considered as time worked
- When workers should be paid by their employer
- Things that employers must pay for
The California wage and hour law abide by the proceedings as per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Like many other states across the United States of America, California also has its own wage and hour laws which every employer in Los Angeles must adhere to. An employer who is subject to multiple laws must obey the California wage and hour law that best suits the needs of each worker. For example, the central minimum wage in the USA is currently at $7.25 per hour, however, in California the minimum wage is slightly higher. Therefore, employers in Los Angeles are entitled to pay the higher amount.
Wage and hour claims – Defending your right to fair compensation
In California, employee wages are protected by the California wage and hour law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These laws cover overtime pay, exempt vs. nonexempt job classifications, minimum wage, meal and rest breaks, and other important wage and hour issues.
As an employee, you have the right to be compensated for the number of hours worked, and you should be paid twice per month or more frequently (though there are a few exceptions to this rule). The manner of payment is different for exempt and nonexempt employees. Exempt is the category for salary employees who do not receive overtime pay; nonexempt employees are paid by the hour and are thus eligible for overtime pay.
How are wage and hour class actions formed?
The formation of wage and hour class actions is a different process to that of any other typical class action. The California wage and hour law and FLSA have determined the process for the creation of a class action, which is also known as a “collective action” with regards to wage and hour violations. According to the FLSA, a worker who declares wage and hour violations should initially identify whether any other colleagues have previously been in the same situation.
If a worker files for a wage and hour lawsuit, a court will further provide a conditional certification. Once this is done, a plaintiff will then send a notice to potential class members who will opt-in to the wage and hour lawsuit. The courts will help facilitate the process by requesting organizations to post opt-in and notice forms at work sites, which will provide them with the necessary contact information for their employees.
What are the common wage and hour violations of the California labor laws?
Several wage and hour lawsuits in Los Angeles allege that employers have illegally violated the FLSA. The FLSA establishes requirements for overtime pay, minimum wage and employees working more than 40 hours a week. In many cases, wage and hour violations frequently arise out of the following allegations:
- Off-the-clock work: This common form of wage and hour violation occurs due to an employers failure to pay a worker for pre-shift or post-shift activities.
- Improper calculation of regular pay rates: It is a common instance for employers to miscalculate overtime pay, which is usually based on an employee’s regular rate of pay. However, this rate often changes due to bonuses and other additional compensation which needs to be included in the final pay calculation.
- Misclassification of exempt employees: This is another common wage and hour violation were certain employees are exempt from FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay In many cases, misclassified employees may be owed overtime pay and minimum wage, but are denied them by their employers.
- Unpaid meal and rest breaks while on duty: As per the California wage and hour laws and FLSA, meal and rest breaks that last under 20 minutes are fully compensable, while break periods which exceed 30 minutes are non-compensable.
- Deductions from paid employees: According to California wage and hour laws there is a limit to the number of deductions that can be legally taken out of an employee’s salary for missed work hours.
- Failure to provide overtime pay: California wage and hour laws state that covered employees are entitled an overtime pay of at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in one week.
- Failure to provide a minimum wage: Under the FLSA, nonexempt and covered workers should at least be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Contact a Southern California Wage and Hour Lawyer
At Wrongful Termination Law Group, our wage and hour lawyers fight for just compensation for employees who have been treated unfairly by their employers. We give each client personalized and individual attention, knowing that the best outcomes result from the most thorough knowledge of each wage and hour case’s specifics. To learn how our wage and hour lawyers can help protect your legal rights, contact Wrongful Termination Law Group today.