If you haven’t been paid the wages you’ve earned, now is the time to take action. Since 2007, our award-winning attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm have successfully recovered more than $350 million on behalf of our clients. Time is limited to file your claim—you don’t want to miss out. Contact the employment lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm NOW by calling (844) 432-7044 or by filling out our online contact form.
Are you unsure about your rights when it comes to overtime pay? Read our new Unpaid Overtime Guide here.
Minimum Wage Violations
Not every company has the best interest of their employees at heart. In fact, there are some companies that will do anything that they can in order to save money—even if it hurts the very workers they count on. The California Labor Code gives employees the right to be paid for their work, the right to mandatory meal and rest breaks, and more.
One of those rights is the right to a federal and state minimum wage. By the year 2023, the minimum wage throughout California will be $15.00 per hour, vastly higher than the (as of January 1st, 2019) $7.25 federal minimum wage. With very few exceptions, employees in California must be paid at least the state minimum wage; nevertheless, some businesses will look to skirt these regulations in whatever way they can. If your employer is guilty of this behavior, immediately seek the expert advice of Wilshire Law Firm’s unpaid wage lawyers.
Reimbursements and Bonus Pay
One of the ways in which employers attempt to circumvent minimum wage laws is through reimbursement and bonus pay adjustments. Commissions, bonus pay, reimbursement pay, and tips cannot be used as credit towards the minimum wage that employers are required to pay you for your work. Your tips belong to you—NOT your employer.
Generally speaking, all employers must compensate their employees for the time they spend on duty. Under California law, employers are required to provide a meal break within the first 5 hours of an employee’s shift, as well as 1 rest break during 3.5 to 6-hour shifts and 2 rest breaks during 6 to 10-hour shifts. Occasionally, employees will be asked to work through these breaks—in direct violation of the law. Instances in which employees may have wages illegally withheld include:
- Work completed off the clock
- Meals or rest breaks that employees are asked to work through
- Overtime or double time hours worked
- Work-related travel time
In addition to this, employers are also required to, in the event of a separation from or termination of an employee, pay out any unused and accrued vacation time at the employee’s final rate of pay. If your employer failed to pay any of the wages owed to you, they may be subject to severe penalties under California law. Contact the award-winning attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm today to discuss the merit of your claim—we can help you recover the wages you are legally entitled to.
Paydays and Final Paychecks
Wages that employees earn between the 1st and 15th days of any given month are required to be paid no later than the 26th of that month. Similarly, wages that are earned between the 16th and the last day of a given month must be paid by the 10th day of the following month. For less traditional payroll structures, such as weekly, biweekly, or semi-monthly, wages earned must be paid within 7 calendar days of the end of the payroll period.
For employees who have given 72 hours or more notice of quitting, the employer is required to pay all wages due at the time of quitting. If notice is not given by the employee, then employers have 72 hours after the time of quitting to pay the employee all wages earned. Employers who delay or fail to pay wages when due may be subject to waiting penalties, in addition to any unpaid wages owed to an employee.
Contract employee, hourly employee, salaried employee, independent contractor, it doesn’t matter—you have fundamental rights under federal and state law to be compensated correctly for the work you perform. Some workers, however, are exempt from wage and hour law protections. Unfortunately, there are employers that attempt to misclassify non-exempt workers as exempt, in order to avoid paying overtime and other wages.
Exempt employees are likely to be one of the following:
- Highly-compensated employees
- Skilled professionals (e.g. lawyers, doctors, computer technicians, etc.)
- Outside salespersons
- Administrative employees
When attempting to determine whether an employee is exempt or not, the employee’s duties are quite important. Exempt employees are required to earn at least two times the state minimum wage for full employment—simply paying an employee a salary does not make them exempt—and must also perform exempt duties, including:
- Managing a company or department
- Performing administrative tasks
- Duties that require advanced knowledge
- Making sales
- Information technology and systems analysis
Wilshire Law Firm is committed to representing professionals in tech, health care, and other industries who have been misclassified, including through class action lawsuits.
How to Get Help
If you believe that your employer has been withholding your wages or otherwise violating federal and state wage and hour laws, start by reporting the issue internally to your Human Resources or payroll department. If your unpaid wage claim is still not resolved, however, you should immediately consult with one of the skilled employment attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. Our award-winning team of over 130 dedicated legal professionals will help you gather evidence to prove your case, including:
- Pay stubs
- Time clock data and other work records
- Internal company correspondence and policies
- Testimony from coworkers
In general, most claims for unpaid wages must be filed within 3 years of the violation occurring, so consult with the unpaid wage lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm as soon as possible. Get started with your FREE case consultation today by calling us at (844) 432-7044, or by filling out our online contact form.