When California employers disregard the federal or state standards for wages and hours of work, it generally happens in three main situations:
In each of these situations, the result for you is the same: not being paid fairly for your hours of work.
Many employers try to save money, especially in this economy, by violating California’s strong wage and hour laws.
In fact, errors are so prevalent that often when a client calls us about one area of law, we find that they have a better argument for wage and hour violations. The specific law in this area is complex, but most people do not know that their employer is violating the law in this area or how to address their concerns. We aim to change that.
Just as a severance package is meant to bridge the loss of an employee’s income, identifying a wage and hour violation may provide a bridge to what often seems an uncertain future. We have seen this in cases we have handled recently.
Are You Owed for All of the Overtime Hours You Worked That Were Not Paid Because You Were Told You Were “Exempt”?
In California, almost all workers should receive overtime pay. Employers choose to pay workers on a salary basis so they can work them over eight hours a day and/or forty hours a week and not pay the premium pay. California’s laws are wise to this scheme, and do not allow it.
The law presumes that the vast majority of employees in California must be paid overtime wages if they work overtime.
Labels aren’t important. Even if your employer calls you a “manager,” or “supervisor,” it does not matter. The law looks at the job tasks that you perform from day to day at your job. California’s law presumes that all workers deserve overtime, and it is up to your employer to prove that you really are “exempt” from overtime pay. In California, it is only a select few employees who are not entitled to overtime pay.
A Few Examples of Actual Cases Where We Have Successfully Represented Employees Who Were Told That They Were Exempt from Overtime:
Machinist was called “Supervisor” and paid a salary. He supervised up to five employees, but he could not hire or fire employees without approval from human resources. His employer required that he work 50 hours a week. This machinist was still required to work the machines the majority of his workday to help keep labor costs down. He had worked for two years as a supervisor and when he was terminated he was not paid the overtime owed because the company claimed he was exempt from overtime.
Manager of a large retail chain store was required to do anything necessary in store to keep it at level required by corporate office. This meant that Manager had to run cash register, stock shelves, and clean if employees were unavailable or the place was short staffed. Manager also had to prepare schedules, direct employees, order merchandise, and fill out corporate paperwork. Because the Manager had to keep labor costs low, she could not hire enough employees to keep her working on her management duties over fifty percent of the time.
It does not matter if your employer is a large, well-respected corporation or a smaller employer. No matter how sophisticated, employers routinely violate the requirement that it must pay overtime pay to its workers.
You may be owed wages for missed lunches and rest breaks.
You may also be owed if these breaks are cut short by work duties or taken late in the day.
You would be surprised at how many employees are forced to miss meal periods. Most of these employers are aware that these employees are not getting lunches, but really do not care because they want the work to get done.
But, hourly employees need to be provided with a thirty-minute DUTY FREE meal period after the fifth hour of work. Are you getting those full, uninterrupted thirty-minute meal breaks?.
Hourly employees are also entitled to a rest period of ten minutes every four hours worked. Did your employer refuse to allow them because work was to busy? Did you receive your whole break without an interruption from your employer? If your employer requires you to answer the telephone or wait on a customer (even for only a couple of minutes) you did not get your DUTY FREE break.
If these breaks are missed, you may be entitled to one hour of pay for EACH one missed. If you were terminated without being given these wages, you may also be entitled to a monetary penalty.
Contact Henk Leonard
right attorneys for you.