Both federal and state laws protect employees in the United States and ensure they are paid fully and fairly. Sometimes though, those laws are violated by employers. Sometimes the employer is unaware of their wrongdoing, but employers often try to take advantage of their workers and try to get away with not paying them the wages they are due.
At Knoll Law Group, we have the experience and legal knowledge to help workers get the wages they are owed.
Federal and California Wage and Hour Laws
In California, employers must comply with both state and federal laws when they hire a person to work for them. The primary federal employment law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which establishes several essential employment components such as overtime, minimum wage, and child labor laws. It was written to provide a layer of protection for workers regarding safety and health.
In California, several laws protect workers:
- Overtime – Employers are required to pay overtime wages at the rate of one andone-half times the amount of the employee’s standard hourly pay rate for every hour worked over eight hours in a day or over forty hours in a workweek. The law does, however, provide for a few exceptions.
- Minimum Wage – 2022 minimum wage in California is $14 per hr for employers with twenty-five or fewer people working for them and $15 per hr for employers who have twenty-six or more people working for them.
- Breaks – All workers are entitled to one 30-minute meal break (unpaid) after working for five consecutive hours in a day. However, if their shift is only six hours or less, they may choose to abstain from taking the break if both the employer and employee agree. If the employee works 10 hours in one day, they are entitled to a second 30-minute break unless their shift is 12 hours or less, then they may be able to abstain from the second break. But they must take at least one of the breaks.
Common Violations of Wage and Hour Laws
Employers are required by law to pay nonexempt employees for all hours they work. This includes training, travel, on-call time, and preparation time. Additionally, employers who round hours must round up and not down. Employers whose staff receive tips cannot count those tips as part of the minimum wage payment that they owe them.
Other common violations of wage and hour laws include:
- Failure to pay overtime when the worker earns it
- Misclassifying a worker as exempt
- Requiring an employee to work through their meal break or other rest break and refusing to pay them
- Failing to pay workers their earned commissions
- Forcing employees to work off the clock
Class Action Lawsuits in Wage and Hour Litigation
Wage and hour litigation commonly has class-action lawsuits. Typically, if the employer violates the law with one employee, they do it with many or even all people who work for them. When this happens, the employees come together to form a single lawsuit against the employer that enforces all their collective legal rights and gets compensation for what they are owed. It often results in punishment to the employer, who must pay fines, pay the workers for lost wages, and usually other compensation and other penalties that could seriously impact their business.
California Wage and Hour Attorneys
If you are an employee in California and believe that your employer has committed these violations, don’t wait to see what happens or wait for someone else to step up. Contact the Knoll Law Group right away. We will help you get the compensation you deserve and ensure justice is served.
Call today. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and schedule an appointment to talk to one of our attorneys. You deserve to be fairly compensated for the work you do. Make sure your employer follows the letter of the law.