Wage and Hour
Some employers fail to pay employees all wages due, either intentionally or out of ignorance. The wage and hour attorneys at The Velez Law Firm, PC are experienced in recovering compensation for employees who have not been paid all wages earned and for numerous other violations of wage and hour laws, including:
- Failure to Pay Minimum Wage
- Failure to Provide Meal and Rest Breaks
- Unlawful deductions or withholding of any part of an employee’s wages
An employer who fails to pay an employee wages owed may be subject to several penalties under California law:
- Waiting Time Penalties
- Liquidated Damages
- PAGA Penalties
- Attorney’s Fees and Costs.
Under the California Labor Code section 510(a), employers must pay 1½ times the employee’s regular rate if he or she works more than 40 hours per week or more than 8 hours per day; and double the regular rate for work in excess of 12 hours per day.
Some of the most common ways an employer may have violated violating Federal and California State wage and hour laws include:
- Requiring you to “waive” your right to overtime pay
- Misclassifying you as “overtime exempt” and/or designating you as a salaried employee when you should be classified as “non-exempt” or hourly
- Having you work “off the clock” before/after your shift or during your lunch break
- Requiring you to arrive early for your shift or to attend work-related functions without paying you
- Not compensating you for travel time during work or otherwise at the employer’s direction
- Not compensating you for being “on-call” for the business (this includes requiring you to respond to texts or emails while off duty.)
Similar to rest breaks, employers will often require employees to “waive” or work through their lunch break, in violation of the law. California law provides that employees who work more than 5 hours in a day are entitled to a meal period of at least 30 minutes; and a second meal period of at least 30 minutes if they work more than 10 hours in a day. The 30-minute meal period is generally not a part of working hours if the employee is relieved of all duties.
An employer who fails to provide proper off-duty meal periods must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate for each work day that the meal or rest period was not provided.
According to California law, employers must provide hourly-paid employees with one 10 minute paid rest period for every four hours of work. This is because rest periods are considered part of working hours, and are therefore generally compensable.
An employer who fails to provide rest periods must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate for each day that a rest period was not provided. Such violations can expose even small employers with few employees to massive potential liability.
Both Federal and California protect you from retaliation for reporting and/or enforcing your wage and hour rights.
If you believe that your has not paid you proper wages in accordance with the law, and speak with a wage and hour attorney at The Velez Law Firm, PC to see if you can pursue an individual or class action lawsuit against your employer.