Unpaid Wages and Overtime
Wage and Hour Violations
With almost 20 years of experience, Los Angeles Employment Attorney Kevin Salute is experienced in handling minimum wage and overtime claims as well as claims involving the failure to provide proper meal periods, rest breaks, and paycheck stubs.
California Minimum Wage
Prior to January 1, 2008, California employers were required to have paid their employees at least $7.50 per hour. Effective July 1, 2014, California employers are required to pay their employees at least $9.00 per hour. Effective January 1, 2016, California employers are required to pay their employees at least $10.00 per hour.
California law provides non-exempt (hourly) employees working more than eight (8) hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek are to be paid overtime wages. There may be exceptions to this general rule based on alternative work weeks or split shifts.
Generally speaking an employee working more than 8 hours in a shift is considered to be working overtime. The employee will be entitled to the normal wages for the first 8 hours of the shift and then 1 ½ times the normal hourly wage for the remaining part of the shift up to 12 hours. Hours worked in excess of 12 hours are to be paid at the rate of 2 times the normal hourly wage.
Generally speaking an employee working on a 6th consecutive day is also considered to be working overtime. The employee will be entitled to be paid at the rate of 1 ½ times the normal hourly wage for the first 8 hours and double time for the remaining part of the shift.
Failure To Provide Meal Periods
California law provides that an employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than thirty minutes. A second meal period of not less than thirty minutes is required if an employee works more than ten hours per day. Furthermore, unless the employee is relieved of all duty during his or her thirty minute meal period, the meal period shall be considered an “on duty” meal period that is counted as hours worked which must be compensated at the employee’s regular rate of pay. In addition, if the employer requires the employee to remain at the work site or facility during the meal period, the meal period must be paid even where the employee is relieved of all work duties during the meal period.
If an employer fails to provide an employee a meal period, the employer must pay one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the meal period is not provided. Given the fact that employers generally have a practice of not providing these meal periods regularly, this penalty could be quite substantial.
Failure To Provide Rest Breaks
California law provides that an employer must authorize and permit nonexempt employees to take a rest period that must, insofar as practicable, be taken in the middle of each work period. The rest period is based on the total hours worked daily and must be at the minimum rate of a net ten consecutive minutes for each four hour work period, or major fraction thereof. The rest period is counted as time worked and therefore, the employer must pay for such periods.
If an employer fails to provide an employee the rest periods, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the rest period is not provided. Again, given the fact that employers generally have a practice of not providing these rest periods regularly, this penalty could be quite substantial.
Failure To Maintain And Provide Accurate Payroll Records
Every California employer must furnish each of his or her employees an accurate itemized statement in writing showing (1) gross wages earned, (2) total hours worked by the employee, (3) the number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, (4) all deductions, provided that all deductions made on written orders of the employee may be aggregated and shown as one item, (5) net wages earned, (6) the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid, (7) the name of the employee and his or her social security number, (8) the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer, and (9) all applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate by the employee.
Employees are entitled to a penalty of up to $4,000 from their employer that fails to provide proper paycheck stubs.
IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR YOUR EMPLOYER TO RETALIATE AGAINST YOU FOR EXERCISING YOUR RIGHTS. DON’T BE AFRAID TO CALL. WE WILL HOLD YOUR EMPLOYER LIABLE.
Call our office for a FREE CASE EVALUATION if you have been:
- Denied meal breaks
- Denied rest periods
- Not provided paycheck stubs that reflect the proper number of hours that you worked, the rate of pay, the dates works, or other similar information
- Not paid at least minimum wage for each hour of work that you worked
- Not paid overtime for each hour worked in excess of 8 hours per day or on the 6th day of consecutive work
You may be entitled to receive back pay, damages for future wage loss, damages for emotional distress, and possibly other damages from your employer.