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Wage Disputes & Unpaid Wage Claims in Los Angeles, CA

As an employee in Los Angeles, you are entitled to compensation for the hours you work. You may also be entitled to various benefits—whether promised by your employer or provided by California law. Unfortunately, many employers don’t uphold their end of the bargain. As a result, many employees find themselves in need of a Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer.

If you believe your employer has wrongfully denied you compensation or benefits, you should speak with a lawyer promptly. Wage and hour violations are common, and they provide employees with clear legal rights. A Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer at Attorneys For Employees can provide a comprehensive assessment of your legal rights, and if you have a claim, your lawyer can seek all available remedies on your behalf.

Unpaid Wages Can Take Many Different Forms

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, a Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer can assist you in recovering the compensation you’re owed. 

Common Wage & Hour Violations

While there are numerous wage and hour violations, some of the most common include:

  • Overtime: There are certain conditions that 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.

Employee Misclassification

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. 

Employers will also attempt to avoid paying for overtime by classifying “non-exempt” employees as “exempt.” Generally speaking, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay, while exempt employees are not. Exempt employees are typically those who receive a salary (as opposed to hourly wages) and who work in professional occupations such as finance, accounting, law and medicine.

Just because your employer calls you an independent contractor or an exempt employee, this does not mean that your employer’s classification is correct. To determine your employment status, your Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer at Attorneys for Employees will thoroughly examine all aspects of your employment. If your employer has misclassified you, you could be entitled to weeks, months or even years’ worth of unpaid overtime and benefits, and your lawyer can use the law to help you recover the compensation you are rightfully owed.

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 a major fraction thereof. There are specific requirements regarding these mandatory breaks that an attorney at AFE can explain in more detail. 

Filing an Unpaid Wage Claim in Los Angeles

Depending on your individual circumstances, filing a claim for unpaid wages could involve filing a lawsuit in court or filing a claim with a state or federal agency. Based on the specific law (or laws) your employer violated, our lawyers will determine where to file your claim and what remedies to pursue on your behalf. The remedies that are generally available in unpaid wage claims in California include compensation for:

  • Unpaid wages, overtime compensation, and other forms of compensation
  • Rest breaks and meal breaks
  • Unused vacation time or paid time off
  • Costs and attorneys’ fees

Calculating the full amount you are entitled to recover can be challenging, and this is one of many reasons why it is important to have an experienced Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer on your side. At Attorneys For Employees, our lawyers rely on decades of experience to seek maximum compensation for our clients.

If you think you may have a claim for unpaid wages or benefits, what should you do? The most important thing you can do is to discuss your claim with a Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer as soon as possible. When you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with one of our lawyers in confidence, and your lawyer will help you make informed decisions about your next steps.

Speak with a Los Angeles Unpaid Wage Lawyer Today

If you believe your employer has failed to comply with wage and hour laws, contact a Los Angeles Unpaid Wage Lawyer at our firm to find out what claims and remedies are available to you. We may be reached by filling out our intake form.