Los Angeles Wage & Hour Violations Lawyers
Employees deserve to be fairly and fully paid for their work. California and federal laws provide employees with various protections when it comes to pay and working hours.
Unfortunately, sometimes out of ignorance but usually out of greed, many employers violate these laws. All too often companies intentionally try to take advantage of their employees and cut corners in order to save money.
At Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP, our Los Angeles employment attorneys understand how wage and hour violations can negatively impact employees, and how unfair it is for a company to try to illegally increase its profits at the expense of the workers. Our office represents employees who have been underpaid by their employers in violation of the law. We help employees stand up for their rights, obtain the compensation they are entitled to, and hold employers accountable for their illegal practices.
Common Examples of Wage & Hour Violations
Although wage and hour violations can take many forms, some more common examples include an employer:
- Failing to pay workers minimum wage or the applicable prevailing wage
- Failing to pay overtime or double time when earned
- Failing to pay for all the time on the job, such as on-call time or preparation time
- Misclassifying an employee as exempt
- Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor
- Not paying workers the commissions they have earned and/or bonuses they have been promised
- Not repaying employees for certain work-related expenses
- Requiring employees to work through their rest or meal breaks (and not paying them for working through these breaks)
- Forcing employees to work “off of the clock”
California law also prohibits retaliation against employees who inquire about unpaid wages or file a complaint about an employer’s violation of the wage and hour laws.
Los Angeles Wage & Hour Class Actions
Class actions are designed to represent an entire class of individuals who suffered the same type of injury from a common defendant. Class action lawsuits are common in wage & hour litigation. If an employer commits a particular pay violation against one employee, it is very likely that the employer is committing the same violation against all or at least many of its other employees. For example, an employer may, as a matter of general practice, fail to pay overtime, or fail to pay for the preparation time before official shifts, or improperly round off time, or misclassify its employees as independent contractors. In circumstances such as these, lawsuits enforcing the collective legal rights of all workers wronged by the same employer are often more successful than individual suits, and are an effective way to punish the employer for its wrongdoing.
Employers Must Pay Nonexempt Employees for All “Hours Worked”
Compensable “hours worked” in California include not just the time an employee spends performing his or her regular tasks during his or her regular shift. Additionally, an employer may be required to pay its employees for time spent on any of the following activities:
- Waiting and On-Call Time. An employee required to remain on the employer’s premises is generally considered to be working and must be paid for all hours – even if the employee is just simply on-call or waiting for something to happen. In certain circumstances, employees may also be entitled to be paid for waiting time even when they are off-site.
- Training Time. California law generally requires that nonexempt employees be paid for their training time. For the most part, the only trainings, meetings, or similar activities that are not compensable are voluntary events that take place outside the regular working hours and that do not directly relate to the employee’s job.
- Preparation Time. If an employee is required to put on protective gear or set up equipment before starting his or her shift, the time spent on these tasks may be compensable even though they are done off-the-clock.
- Travel time. While commuting to and from regular work location is typically not compensable, an employer may be obligated to pay for traveling time to other locations, such as for example, an employee running errands on behalf of the employer or traveling to another work-site per the employer’s instructions.
Overtime Pay Requirements
Nonexempt employees are entitled to 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for: (1) any work in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek or (2) any work in excess of 8 hours in one workday. Thus, even when an employee works less than 40 hours per week in total, he or she is still entitled to overtime pay for days on which he or she worked more than 8 hours. Additionally, all hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work must be paid at the overtime rate.
Any work in excess of 12 hours in one workday must be compensated at a rate of no less than 2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Pay Requirements for Employees Who Earn Commissions
Employers are typically prohibited from paying their employees who work on commission less than the minimum wage, regardless of the amount of revenue these employees generate. In general, the only commissioned employees who may be exempt from minimum wage requirements are some outside salespeople who primarily work “out in the field” away from the office.
Employees who earn commissions can also entitled to overtime unless more than half of their income comes from commissions and their income in each pay period is more than 1.5 times the minimum wage. For employees eligible for overtime, commissions must also be included in calculation of the overtime premium rate.
Pay Requirements for Employees Who Are Paid by Piece Rate
Regardless of their output, all employees who are paid by “piece rate” must still earn at least a minimum wage for each pay period. Piece rate employees also must be separately paid no less than minimum wage for the time they are performing work that does not earn piece rate wages, such as cleaning, waiting for orders, obtaining parts, etc.
Illegal Rounding of Hours
Rounding is often used in industries where time clocks are used and the employer rounds starting and stopping time to the nearest 5 minutes, one-tenth or quarter of an hour. If an employer consistently rounds the time down rather than up, and the net result over time is an overall decrease in hours and loss of pay, the employer’s rounding policy may be illegal.
Requirements Regarding Tips
Tips and gratuities cannot be counted by employers towards the minimum wage payment owed. Employers are also not allowed to share in tips or tip pools of their employees.
Contact Los Angeles Wage and Hour Attorneys
If your employer has committed wage and hour violations, contact the Los Angeles wage & hour attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman for help in obtaining compensation and justice. To schedule a free consultation and find out more about your rights and potential claims, call us at (310) 575-2550 or email us for a quick response.
With office locations in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, our attorneys provide legal service and representation to clients throughout California.