How Wage and Hour Laws Apply To You
Are you working extra hours because other employees take time off? Are you paying extra fees to your daycare because you’re staying late at work? Are you getting compensated for time that you’re on call? Do you sometimes skip lunch or run errands for your employer at lunch time? Are all your employment-related expenses getting reimbursed? Do you work hard to get your work done for less than minimum wage while the boss’s son works all the overtime? You need the money.
Wage and Hour Attorney
If your employer is taking unfair advantage of you or you found out you should be compensated for extra hours and expenses, you are not alone. You may be surprised to find that there is already a class action suit against your employer. Employees, such as waitresses and waiters, are entitled to at least full minimum wage even though they receive tips. Salesmen may be entitled to minimum wages plus overtime depending on their number of hours on the job even though they earn most of their income through commissions and bonuses.
Our Harvard-educated California wage and hour legal team has 60+ years of combined experience litigating against large corporations, and our employment lawyer will show the same tenacity representing you as he put forth for celebrity clients. Our multilingual employment attorney speaks Armenian, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Persian, and Spanish and really cares about your welfare.
Labor disputes are not always how they are perceived by the employee. For example, the business owner’s son who gets all the overtime hours is exempt from overtime because you work for a family-owned business. He works the extra hours to save the employer money or in hopes of inheriting the family business. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office publishes California exemptions from overtime laws.
California employers designate employees exempt or nonexempt from overtime for income tax purposes, but state and federal laws may differ on who is exempt from overtime pay. Salaried executives, administrators, and professionals are exempt from overtime. California employers owe an hourly employee overtime if he or she works more than eight hours in a day even if the employer did not authorize the overtime. You’re entitled to overtime for the extra hour or hours you work when another employee doesn’t report for work or comes in late. Overtime pay is one and a half times your hourly rate for the overtime hours. If you are forced to work more than twelve hours in one day, under California wage and hour law, you’re entitled to double your hourly rate for each additional hour. California agricultural workers are entitled to overtime for hours beyond 9.5 hours per day or beyond 55 hours per week. The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate non-exempt employees for overtime hours beyond forty hours per week.
Our wage and hour attorney can help you if you’re paid less than California’s minimum wage which varies slightly by employer. On January 1, 2019, California’s minimum wage became $11.00 per hour if you work for a small business with less than 26 employees, and $12.00 an hour if you work for a larger business.
Our employment attorney can evaluate your case, calculate your back pay if you have not been adequately compensated, and file a claim for you in state or federal agencies and represent you in state or federal court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, or in the California or the United States Supreme Court. As an employee working in the state of California, you have the right to expect paid breaks, paid meal breaks, paid sick days, and paid vacation days. California employers must pay employees for their unused sick or vacation days at the end of their employment with the company. California law gives full-time hourly employees a 30-minute unpaid meal break. An employee who works ten hours or more per day is entitled to a second 30-minute meal break. California hourly employees are entitled to paid ten-minute breaks every two hours.
Enforcement of Wage and Hour Laws
Our employment lawyer can open your case with a labor law violation complaint with the California Department of Industrial Relations Bureau of Field Enforcement. The Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor also forces employers to comply with labor laws in disputes regarding:
• Minimum wage
• Hours worked
• Record keeping
• Child labor
2019 Changes to Overtime Laws
The 2019 changes to the existing law which effects employees with salaries between $455 weekly and $679 weekly, the 2019 level for an overtime exempt salaried employee. When the new 2019 rule becomes effective, at least one million more Americans will be eligible for overtime pay based on their titles and job descriptions. The new rule increases the level for “highly compensated employee” status from of $100,000 to $147,414 annually.
California Bureau of Field Enforcement
The California Bureau of Field Enforcement investigates and enforces workers’ compensation, child labor, and contractor licensing laws. The agency investigates minimum wage and overtime violations. The California Labor Employment Task Force combines state and federal agencies in the investigation of unfair business practices. The Bureau of Field Enforcement has a public works division to investigate wage disputes on oil fields and construction sites.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs licenses about 300 thousand contractors in 44 different categories. Labor disputes, workers’ compensation, and wrongful death claims often result from the lack of communication between unrelated contractors working together on a jobsite. Construction site complaints against licensed contractors are filed through the department of consumer affairs. Licensed contractors must print their license numbers on their business cards, all advertisements, and on all consumer contracts. Complaints asserting threats of public health and safety come first.
The Contractors’ State Licensing Board may offer the contractor an attempt to mediate the dispute if it is possible to settle the matter. If an investigation is necessary, an enforcement representative from the state licensing board will determine if the contractor is in violation of California contractor licensing laws. Arbitration is another option available to complainants and contractors when engaged in disputes involving less than $12,500. If the dispute involves $12,500 to $50,000, arbitration may be allowed, but the complainant may have the right to take the dispute into state court. Our employment attorney may represent either individual in this type of wage complaint involving licensed contractors rather than hourly employees. The assumption is that employees work for contractors and more than one person’s wages are at stake.
West Coast Employment Lawyers
Contact our West Coast employment lawyers for a free initial consultation in our conveniently located Los Angeles office. Please bring documentation relevant to your wage and hour complaint with you.
Our West Coast Employment Lawyers are passionate about helping exploited working class individuals with unscrupulous employers. You’ll pay nothing until your compensation is received. One of our attorneys volunteered more than 300 pro bono hours in one year and received the California’s Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for his service. Our founding partners have helped human trafficking victims, and they’ve helped prosecute some of “America’s Most Wanted” murderers and drug dealers at the United States-Mexico border. Our employment lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients.