Recovering compensation for unpaid overtime, for work performed “off the clock” and other violations of wage and hours laws are just some of many protections The Los Angeles wage and hour attorneys at The Rubin Law Corporation offers workers in Southern California. Other important protections include the following:
- Meal and Rest breaks: California employees are entitled to take regular meal breaks and rest breaks during the workday. Employers who deny their workers meal or rest breaks will be required to pay for every meal or rest break.
- Waiting Time Penalties: In California, employees who are fired must be paid all wages immediately; employees who quit must be paid within three days (or sooner if they give notice). Employers who fail to pay employees promptly upon termination may be required to pay penalties of up to 30 times the employee’s average daily wage.
- Bonus Calculations and Deductions: California law protects workers who receive performance bonuses as part of their compensation. For example, bonus plans can not contain deductions for workers’ compensation expenses. And bonus plans for non-exempt employees may not include deductions for cash shortages, breakage or loss of equipment (unless they are caused by the employee’s dishonesty, intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence).
- Minimum Wage: In addition to failing to pay overtime, some employers reclassify employees to pay them less than a minimum wage. Nearly all workers in California must be paid at least the minimum wage of $8 per hour. Employers who pay their workers by commission or piece work rather than an hourly wage must ensure that the employee’s compensation averages at least the minimum wage during each pay period. If the average compensation falls below the minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference.
Contact The Rubin Law Corporation of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills today by calling us at 310-385-0777.
Class action lawsuits
Several recent decisions by California courts demonstrate that conditions are ripe for employees to enforce their rights to compensation via class action suits. In 2003, the California Court of Appeal in Ralphs Grocery Company v. Superior Court (Swanson) allowed a class action suit to proceed on behalf of grocery store managers whose bonuses were reduced by unlawful deductions.
In a 2004 decision in Sav-On Drugs v. Superior Court (Rocher), the California Supreme Court allowed chain store managers to proceed with a class action suit alleging that they were improperly classified as exempt from overtime provisions.
And in 2006, our lead wage and hour attorney Steven Rubin was involved in a groundbreaking class action suit on behalf of runway models who were not paid promptly after their employment ended. The litigation went all the way to the California Supreme Court, which issued a decision in Smith v. Superior Court (L’Oreal) allowing the models to proceed with a claim for waiting time penalties because they were not paid on time.
Meals and rest breaks
Employees in California are entitled to meal breaks and rest breaks during their work hours. Generally, an employee who works a shift of at least five hours must receive a meal period of at least 30 minutes; if the shift is 10 hours or more, the employee is entitled to a second 30-minute meal period. The meal period must be uninterrupted, and the employee must be relieved of all job duties during the meal time. In addition to meals, an employee is also entitled to rest break periods of 10 minutes for every four hours worked.
If an employer does not provide meal or rest breaks, the employee is entitled to one hour of pay at the regular rate for each work day that the meal or rest period was denied.
The lawyers at The Rubin Law Corporation can help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation for lost meal or rest breaks.
Termination pay and waiting time penalties
When an employee is fired, quits or otherwise terminates his or her employment, the employer must promptly pay all wages due. If the employee is fired, all unpaid wages are due immediately, including unpaid overtime. If the employee quits or resigns, the employer generally must pay outstanding wages within 72 hours; if the employee has given at least three days notice prior to quitting, the employer must provide payment no later than the employee’s last day of work.
Employees who have not been paid their full wages earned at the time their employment terminates are entitled to collect ‘Waiting Time Penalties’ in addition to the actual wages owed.
The amount of the penalties is calculated by multiplying the employee’s average daily wage by the number of days have passed since the wages were due, up to a maximum of 30 days.
With few exceptions, workers in California must be paid at least the minimum wage of $8 per hour. Employers may pay workers on commission or on a “piece-rate” basis, rather than a set hourly wage, but if the average compensation for a pay period falls below $8 per hour, the employer must make up the difference.
Workers who have been paid less than the minimum wage are entitled to recover the unpaid wages due, plus “liquidated damages” equal to the wages owed. Workers can also recover attorneys’ fees, costs and interest, which may be substantial.
If you have been paid less than $8 per hour, the Los Angeles minimum wage attorneys at The Rubin Law Corporation can help you recover the wages you deserve.
Contacting a wage and hour lawyer
Do you feel your rights have been violated in the workplace regarding unpaid overtime, and other wage and hour matters? Contact The Rubin Law Corporation of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills today by calling us at 310-385-0777 or you can schedule a consultation online with one of our unpaid overtime attorneys.