Unpaid commissions, failure to provide meal breaks, unpaid overtime, and employee misclassification are all violations of California state and federal law. Whether an employer commits these and other violations inadvertently or intentionally, they must be held accountable. At Attorneys for Employees (AFE), our employment attorneys understand the laws and regulations that employers must abide by, and when they fail to do so, AFE attorneys assist employees in recovering the compensation they are owed.
Common Wage & Hour Violations
While there are numerous wage and hour violations, some of the most common include:
- Overtime: There are certain conditions which must be met for an hourly employee to be entitled to overtime, including working more than 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek. When all conditions have been met, an employee is entitled to receive 1.5 times (or in some cases 2 times) their normal rate of pay. Failure to pay can expose an employer to legal ramifications.
- Withholding Earned Pay: Termination of an employee does not entitle the employer to withhold pay the employee has earned. Employees must also be paid all accrued but unused sick and vacation pay at the time of termination. Failure to pay employees these wages may subject employers to additional penalties.
- Reimbursement of Expenses: An employer is required to reimburse employees for any necessary expenses they incur in carrying out their job-related duties. Included in this are cell phone fees and mileage.
- Minimum Wage: There is a minimum amount all employers must pay employees. Whether or not an employer is violating California’s minimum wage laws can be confusing as it depends on several factors, including the number of hours worked as well as the number of employees working for the employer and the location of the workplace. Determination of whether or not a minimum wage violation exists is best made by a knowledgeable labor lawyer.
How an employee is classified can make a huge difference in how they are paid, taxed, and whether or not they are entitled to overtime pay and benefits. Because of this, some employers misclassify employees to save money. An example of this would be when an employer classifies an actual employee as an independent contractor. This benefits the employer because independent contractors are not entitled to the same protections as employees in matters involving overtime, paid sick leave, paid time off, and worker’s compensation insurance.
Meal & Rest Breaks
California law mandates that any employee working longer than five consecutive hours is entitled to a minimum of 30 minutes (unpaid) for a meal break. It also states that an employee is entitled to a 10 minute paid break for every four hours they work or major fraction thereof. There are specific requirements regarding these mandatory breaks that an attorney at AFE can explain in more detail.
Speak with a California Employment Attorney Today
If you believe your employer has failed to comply with wage and hour laws, contact our lawyers to find out what claims and remedies are available to you. We may be reached by filling out our intake form.