Wage and Hour
Wage and Hour Disputes Attorneys in Los Angeles California
California wage and hour laws are in place to make sure that employers treat their employees fairly. Sometimes employers break these laws, resulting in loss of income or even jobs. When the employee realizes they are suffering from wage theft or experiencing lost or unpaid wages and report it, sometimes they suffer retaliation from the employer.
If you’ve have unpaid wages from your employer, or if you’ve been the victim of wage theft, lost or missing wages, or were unfairly paid at work, the wage and hour attorneys at Rastegar Law Group have over 100 years of combined experience collecting lost or unpaid wages for our clients in California. Contact our unpaid wages lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation. We charge no fee unless we recover for you.
Failure to Comply with California Wage and Hour Laws
Employers often fail to comply with the California wage and hour laws in many different ways, including the following common violations:
- Not providing employees with an uninterrupted 30 minute meal period after fifth hour of the shift.
- Not paying an extra hour of pay for each missed meal period or rest break.
- Not providing all required information on paystubs and earnings statements.
- Not compensating employees for all employment expenses (such as uniforms, automobile mileage, etc.).
- Not providing “cool down” periods for employees working in hot temperatures.
- Not providing suitable seating.
- Forcing employees to work “off the clock,” or “rounding” employee time at the beginning or end of the shift.
- Requiring you to take your lunch while still working and not paying you for that time.
- Not accounting for commission, bonuses or other benefits such as free meals in calculating overtime pay.
- Not paying time and a half for all hours over 8 in a day, and/or 40 in a week.
- Not providing a 10 minute rest break for each four hour work period.
- Not paying for all earned vacation upon termination of your employment.
- Not providing paid sick days.
If you believe your employer is not complying with California wage and hour laws for one or more of the above reasons or any other reason, please contact us for a free consultation. At Rastegar Law Group, there is no fee unless and until we obtain a recovery for you.
Donning and Doffing
To carry out work-related activities in a seamless manner, sometimes it requires employees to wear special clothing. This includes boots, aprons, or hats in addition to other kinds of gear. Depending on the job designation, you may have to put on and take off clothing before and after every shift. This is known as donning and doffing. Usually, it can take around 10 minutes or so to don and doff work-related attire.
Employers, in certain situations, maintain that putting on and removal of clothing and gear should be carried out on the employee’s own time. California employers have to compensate their staff for any pre-shift or post-shift activities that take place in the service of the employer. This holds true even if the employee has not commenced their work-related activities.
Compensation for Donning and Doffing
To don means to put on work clothes, equipment and gear whereas to doff means to take off work clothes, equipment, and gear. California employers have to compensate their employees for any work-related activities, as long as they are considered important to work proceedings. The compensation should be included in the employee’s weekly or monthly pay.
Compensation for donning and doffing should be paid for the following instances:
Biochemical engineers and food safety workers need to don safety gear for the entire duration of their shifts. It can take several minutes to put on the gear, and putting it on at home could compromise the safety and sterility of the gear.
A few employees need to report earlier than the scheduled standard time. These employees include nurses, who are required to talk to previous shift nurses. While employees are made to work before the scheduled time, they may not be paid for it.
Sometimes employees need to report early, either to unlock doors, meet a visitor, or sign for a delivery. Your paid time begins when you begin to work even if it means arriving earlier than your usual shift.
Police officers, mechanics, doctors and other professionals, who have to wear uniform for their work, especially when a change of clothes is necessary mid-shift, need to be paid to do so on premises.
Calling In the Legal Professionals
If employees are not paid for donning and doffing equipment, gear and clothing that is essential for work activities, it can cause overtime violations. A full-time employee who has not been paid for pre-shift and post-shift work is entitled to a noteworthy amount of overtime pay. It is a wage violation and employees have a right to demand they be paid for it. If your employer refuses to compensate you for putting on and taking off gear and clothing, you can take action against them.
If you need relevant and practical legal advice and counsel with regards to not being paid for putting on and taking off work-related attire and gear, contact Rastegar Law Group for a free and confidential consultation. Our legal solutions advocates and attorneys are well-versed in the laws that govern and protect the rights of employees in California. We have a presence in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, and our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys ensure that employees get compensated for work-related violation. Get in touch with us today to find out why Rastegar Law Group is the preferred law firm when it comes to protecting employees’ rights in California.
Meal and Rest Breaks
Besides overtime pay, there is a law in California that states non-exempt hourly employees have a right to get meal and rest breaks. According to this law, employers need to compulsorily provide a 10-minute undisturbed rest period for every four hours worked or fraction thereof. In addition to this, employees also have a right to avail a 30-minute unpaid, undisturbed and off-duty meal period after every five hours of work.
If you are an employee whose rights are violated, you should be aware of the fact that you can file a suit against employers who violate these rights of providing meal and rest breaks. There are stringent rules and stipulations that employers need to adhere to and if they do not comply, they can be charged with wage and hour litigation lawsuits.
The Kinds of Meal and Rest Break Violations
Meal and rest break is an intricate component of the employment law that is never stagnant. It constantly changes from time to time. You can consult with our intake specialists at Rastegar Law Group to get best help on this issue.
Having said that, here are a few violations that employers are most likely to make when it comes to laws that govern meal and rest breaks.
- An employer is violating the law if they disrupt or come in the way of an employee’s meal break. This is in context to disturbing the employee to perform work-related tasks and errands.
- An employer is violating specific laws if they wrongfully assert that employees sign a ‘meal period waiver’. It is also said that if an employer prohibits an employee from leaving work premises during meal breaks, they are defying certain rules.
- An employer is violating laws if they need their employees to combine their rest breaks. If your employer wants you to do this, they are breaching wage and hour laws.
Only in rare and limited situations, particularly in securely defined kinds of job designations, employees are required to take on-duty meal breaks. However, more often than not, employers attempt to want employees to take on-duty meal breaks whose job descriptions do not blend in seamlessly with the requirements put down by the law.
Outcomes for Failing to Offer Breaks
If these laws are violated, California employers face serious charges. If the rest break is interrupted or not given, the employee stands to receive one hour of pay which has to be included in the next paycheck. If an employer fails to offer an employee a meal period for every work day, employers owe one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate. Failing to comply with laws incurs court fines while in certain cases, court decisions have increased the potential for large financial fines.
Off the Clock
Work off the clock basically involves the work performed by employees with the employer’s knowledge and without getting paid. There are instances when employers genuinely need employees to work without remuneration and the employer graciously and subtly requests for it. Under California Law, Employees may ask for compensation if the ER fails to pay them for the off the clock work.
Any work not paid or calculated in an employee’s weekly hours is considered to be the off the clock work. Employers, who encourage this type of working, may be punished since this is usually considered to be unlawful.
General Kinds of Off the Work Scenarios
- Unpaid, post-shift work such as completing tasks that should be done during normal work hours, clean-ups, dropping off equipment by heading to another site.
- Unpaid work such as correcting errors or asking an employee to redo a project without any pay.
- Unpaid preparation such as warming up or loading trucks, planning a worksite, setting up a restaurant prior to a shif and transferring equipment from one place to another.
- Administrative work such as preparing medical charts or completing paperwork.
- Working during breaks such as carrying on with work during a meal or rest break.
Claims Made Against Employers for Off the Clock Work
California labor laws s mention that employers should not require employees to finish closing duties, change uniform at work, or even complete any pending work while clocked out. If an employer forces or coaxes you to work after you sign out, you have the right to file a complaint against them.
To successfully sue an employer, employees need to show:
- Your employer knew or should have known that you are carrying out their work.
- You conducted work for your employer, but are yet to receive compensation for it.
- Your employer did not do anything or stop you from carrying out the designated work off the clock.
- Your employer did not do anything to make sure you are compensated, when you carried out after your shift or working hours.
Making a claim for compensation for the hours worked off the clocks not against the law. Employees must be paid by their employers when they perform work that the organization requires or requests.
Under California’s paid sick leave law, all employees who work for more than 30 days, within a year from the commencement of employment, are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees can accrue paid sick time at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked. The paid leave can be limited to a maximum of 24 hours or three days per calendar year. Employers failing to adhere to these rules or not providing sick pay leave can be sued in a court of law.
Instances when Sick Paid Leave Can be Utilized
Paid sick time can be utilized by employees for the following reasons:
- To provide care for a child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or domestic partner of the employee.
- For the employee’s own care, particularly when it comes to treatment of an existing health problem, diagnosis, care and/or preventive care.
- In specific cases when the employee is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
These are a few instances when employees can make use of sick pay. Employees can begin using sick paid leave after they have worked for an employer for 90 days. Employers, who do not pay their employees for the time taken for paid sick leave, are in violation breaking California’s paid sick leave law and can be sued for it.
Denying the Right for Sick Pay
Retaliation by the employer by denying an employee this right to sick pay is prohibited by law. Denying an employee this benefit in the form of suspension, termination or threats of termination in addition to other negative actions is forbidden. Employers are not required to pay accrued sick leave when an employee resigns from the company. However, if the employee leaves and is rehired within a year, sick leave has to be reinstated.
Getting in Touch with Legal Experts
If an employer refuses sick pay to any of their employees, then employees can take legal actions against the employer on grounds of failure to adhere to established laws. An employer cannot deny an employee the right to paid sick leave or discriminate against an employee for using accrued sick days.
Employers must also pay employees for sick leave at the employee’s regular wage rate. Employers must pay employees for sick leave the same day as the payday for the next regular payroll period after the leave was taken.
If you want appropriate legal advice on the right action to undertake, you can get in touch with our legal solutions advocates and attorneys at Rastegar Law Group. They come with years of experience and expertise to ensure that you get the best outcome of the difficult situation you are forced into. We offer our clients high-end expertise and have the ability to fight against the most well-funded and stubborn entities.
Sometimes employees pay for business-related costs from their own pocket. However, failure on the part of the employer to reimburse these expenses is unacceptable. In California employees must be reimbursed for all job-related expenses.
This rule is simple in theory, but when it comes to putting it into practice, California employers often fail to reimburse these expenses. Employers who seek to cut corners by not paying the employee for incurred work-related expenses violate the rights of their employees. As a result, un-reimbursed expenses serve as a reason for legal actions.
Work Expenses That Have to Be Reimbursed
Employers in California have to pay their employees for the expenses they incur when carrying out work-related duties. This includes expenses that crop up in the form of meals during business trips, deductions for uniforms, meals when meeting with clients, tolls, office supplies, gasoline, buying samples, and other expenses. If the expenses are connected to your workplace activities, it is the duty of the employer to repay it in the due course of time.
According to the labor and employment laws in California, all reasonable costs that are a direct consequence of work-related duties need to be reimbursed. This also includes work expenses that are carried out as per the directions of the employer, even though the work may be unlawful. This holds true unless the employee, when obeying the instructions believed them to be unlawful.
Kinds of Employee Expenses
Any type of job-related expense that benefits your employer is said to be employee expense. This encompasses:
- Professional license fees or any other kind of license fees
- Equipment and tools that are required for the job (for instance, construction tools)
- Necessary physical examinations
- Work and business associated seminars and education
- Protective gear, clothing and safety equipment
- Vehicle expenses, parking fees and car repairs
- Buying work-related uniforms with company logos that cannot be worn anywhere else but to work
Employers have to reimburse all of these expenses and more. Some employers claim that they do not need to pay their employees because the employee has signed an agreement stating that the employer does not reimburse any expenses. Such an agreement is not legal and hence, if you have signed such a document, it will be considered null and void.
Getting the Help of Professionals
Unreimbursed expenses need to be paid off in a timely manner. If not, necessary steps need to be taken to ensure the employer compensates for the work expenses that the employee incurs. If an employer fails to compensate the employee, they can file a complaint, following which the employee can recover, along with any unreimbursed expenses, interest from the date the expense was incurred. To enforce the rights granted, employees can also get reimbursement for any reasonable attorney’s fees that were charged.
At Rastegar Law Group, you can rest assured knowing that your settlement and verdict with regards to unreimbursed expenses will be announced in your favor. Our attorneys and legal solutions advocates are highly experienced and knowledgeable of the California Labor Code. With offices in San Diego and Los Angeles, Rastegar Law Group is your go-to legal representative when you want to ensure your employer reimburses you for work-related expenses. Our attorneys try all possible avenues, including negotiating with the employer, before knocking on the doors of the court. Contact the unpaid wages attorneys at Rastegar Law Group for a free and confidential consultation today.
California labor laws specifically state that employees have the right to receive overtime pay when working more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. The fact that you are a ‘part-time’ employee, labeled as an ‘independent contractor’ by the company you are working for or earn a salary of $100K every year does not take any precedence.
If you are an employee whose rights are violated, you can take legal action against your employer and get compensated for the hours that you have worked. There are strict requirements that employers must follow when they hire employees and not comply with the rules.
The Times When Employees Need to Be Paid Overtime
Based on the overtime pay laws put forth by California, an employee is entitled to overtime pay for:
- Every hour worked over eight in a single work day.
- The first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in any workweek.
- Every hour worked over 40 hours in a particular workweek.
Employers are also required to pay employees who work double time in California. Accordingly, employees have to be paid double their hourly rate for:
- Every hour worked over 12 in a single day.
- Every hour worked over eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in any given workweek.
An employee should notwork for more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week unless they receive one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all of the extra hours worked. An employee, who has been subjected to unpaid overtime hours, can make claims on this ground.
Penalties Incurred for Unpaid Overtime
Employers who fail to offer overtime pay to their employees can be charged with penalties. These penalties usually exceed the actual amount owed to any terminated employee asking for overtime pay wages.
Along with the actual damages owed, the employee is liable to receive up to 30 days pay in exchange for the employer’s violation. In addition to this, the employer’s failure to dispatch payment permits the employee to one full day’s pay from the date the employee was terminated up until the employee is paid.
Get in Touch with Well Experienced Professionals
If you want the assistance and help of legal experts who are well-versed in this aspect and can offer you good advice, get in touch with the unpaid overtime attorneys at Rastegar Law Group. Our law firm offers you the counsel and guidance you need to turn lawsuits in your favor.
Our attorneys and legal solutions advocates make certain that you come out of an unpaid overtime situation a winner. All you have to do is give us a ring and we see to that we listen to your grievances and find a solution that works best for you, even if it means suing your employer.
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