California Wage and Hour Laws
Despite strict Labor Code requirements regulating payment for all hours worked, overtime pay, meal and rest periods, and reimbursement for business expenses, California employers violate wage and hour laws, failing to fully and fairly pay their employees for the work they perform.
When businesses work to illegally profit at the expense of their employees, Wilshire Law Firm is here to fight back. Our talented class action attorneys have the legal talent, the financial resources, and the drive for success that employees need to get the absolute best result with their class action lawsuit.
Don’t leave your case up to chance—contact the award-winning wage and hour violation lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm NOW by calling (844) 979-0933 or by filling out our online contact form to get started with your FREE case consultation.
Misclassification of Employees
In relation to both federal and state wage and hour laws, California non-exempt employees are offered several protections that prevent employers from overworking and underpaying employees. But when an otherwise non-exempt employee is misclassified as either an exempt employee or as an independent contractor, what has been termed Wage Theft has occurred. California law presumes that all employees are non-exempt—employers are required to prove that an employee should be classified as exempt.
For an employee to be classified as exempt, they must meet the salary and duty requirements established under California law. Currently, California employees must earn at least twice the minimum wage to satisfy the salary requirements. To meet the conditional duty requirements that would lead an employee to be classified as exempt, their primary work duties must be classified in one of the following categories:
- Executives—Managers, C-Level employees, supervising workers, etc.
- Professionals—Doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, systems analysts, etc.
- Administrative Employees—Non-manual office labor
- Outside Salespersons
Independent contractors, like exempt employees, are not protected by some of the wage and hour laws that apply to non-exempt employees. In order to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, the court examines several factors, including whether the employer has control over both the work performed AND the manner and means in which the work is performed—if the employer does, then the worker is likely an employee, NOT an independent contractor.
What Overtime Violations Are Common?
Depending on their classification and how their shifts are scheduled, workers have the right to receive overtime compensation for every hour they work over 8 hours in a workday, or 40 hours in a workweek, or the first eight hours on their seventh consecutive day of work. Non-exempt employees are owed an overtime wage 1.5 times their regular rate of pay in these scenarios; for every hour that employees work over 12 on a given workday (or over 8 if it is the employee’s seventh consecutive workday), employers are required to compensate employees with an overtime wage twice their regular rate of pay.
There are many common examples of overtime pay violations, including the following:
- Off-the-Clock Work—This refers to performed work that is not factored into your wage calculations. If an employer requires you to work during a meal break or after clocking out, your rights may have been violated.
- Time Shaving—Hours worked that are then removed from an employee’s time-keeping records have been unlawfully reduced from an employee’s wages.
- Improper Employee Time Rounding—Certain employers are able to round the punch in and punch out times of their employees. But this rounding must be, otherwise, a wage and hour violation has occurred.
- Employee Misclassification—To avoid paying overtime or handing out benefits, non-exempt workers are sometimes labeled by employers as independent contractors.
How Do Rest and Meal Break Violations Occur?
Non-exempt California employees who work a typical 8-hour day are generally allowed two paid ten-minute, duty-free rest breaks during their workday, or one for every 4 hours of work. One important exception—employers are not required to give rest breaks to employees who work less than 3.5 hours on any given workday.
If an employee works more than 5 hours on a given workday, employers generally must provide them with an unpaid, duty-free meal period of at least 30 minutes within the first 5 hours of work. Employees who work more than 10 hours in a day must be provided with a second 30-minute lunch period.
Employers through the years have creatively generated new violations of meal and rest break laws. Some typical examples of rest and meal break violations include:
- Failing to provide any required meal or rest break
- Failing to provide a full meal or rest break
- Requiring employees to be on-call or on standby during a meal or rest break
- Failing to provide a “late” meal break that occurs after the end of more than 5 hours of work
When an employee has their break rights violated, employers have to pay one hour of wages for each workday a meal or rest period violation occurs. If both occur on the same workday, an employee is entitled to two hours of wages.
Other Miscellaneous Violations
In addition to overtime and rest and meal break violations, employers have violated wage and hour laws in other ways, such as:
- Making wage calculation errors
- Not paying minimum wage
- Including tips as credit towards an employee’s wage
- Not reimbursing employees for work-related expenses such as uniforms, mileage, or the business use of your phone
- Providing inaccurate wage statements
- Failing to deliver timely wage payments
- Failing to provide final wages
- Improperly calculating vacation pay or time off
- Not paying for travel time or on-call hours
- Not paying commissions or bonuses
- Not including commissions or non-discretionary bonuses in overtime wage calculations
Take note of any discrepancies in your pay or other instances you and your coworkers have had your rights as a worker violated, then contact Wilshire Law Firm to recover the wages you are entitled to. Our nationally-recognized class action attorneys won’t let you be taken advantage of—we have the financial resources, the legal talent, and the track record of success you need to get the most out of your case.
How Can Wilshire Law Firm Help Me?
If you’ve worked with your employer and exhausted any internal processes that are available, and your issue has still not been resolved, it may be time to retain an attorney. The statute of limitations for filing your claim is usually three years, so don’t delay. When you’re ready to file a wage claim, it’s important to gather any evidence that can help with your case, evidence like:
- Basic time cards
- Earnings cards/pay stubs
- Wage rate cards
- Work schedules
- Ordering/Shipping/Billing Records
- Wage Addition/Deduction Records
Common in wage and hour law, class action lawsuits can help you and other similarly-wronged employees recover lost wages, interest, penalties, and attorney fees. Employers count on fear, intimidation, and ignorance of the law to steal the hard-earned money of their employees. By filing suit against their employer in a class action lawsuit, employees can seek redress on behalf of everyone that was wronged.
If you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor or exempt from overtime pay, or otherwise failed to receive the wages you earned, don’t let your employer get away with it. The award-winning class action attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm offer sophisticated legal representation that gets results. Since 2007, we’ve recovered more than $900,000,000 in compensation on behalf of our clients, and we can help you too.
Time may be limited to file your claim, so ACT NOW—contact the wage and hour lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm today by calling (844) 979-0933, or fill out our online contact form to get started with your FREE case consultation.