Covina, whose name is a combination of the two words “cove” and “vine,” is a very small city that used to be an unsuccessful coffee plantation close to the eastern frontier of Los Angeles County. Between Covina and its border with San Bernardino County are the cities and neighborhoods of La Verne, San Dimas, Pomona, Via Verde, and Claremont. Covina is located north of West Covina, Walnut, and Diamond Bar. Heading west from Covina towards the city of Los Angeles, one would encounter Baldwin Park, Irwindale, and Vincent. And to the north of Covina are Azusa, Glendora, and Citrus. Covina’s southern boundary is approximately defined by the 10 freeway. The northern boundary for the most part follows the Arrow Highway.
To provide services for and to employ the nearly fifty-thousand residents of Covina, there are several big box retail stores and a cinema complex that is advertised as country’s largest, possessing thirty screens, but by far the largest employers in Covina are the two combined public school districts that manage the education of Covina’s students. After that come the local healthcare facilities, including a hospital that employs about 1,200 workers.
Large hospitals like the one in Covina, which are often members of huge medical groups, employ large numbers of workers, including nurses, technicians, certified nursing assistants, and other staff that support the physicians in the care of patients. The facilities’ concern for their patients does not always extend to the rights of their hourly employees. For instance, employees who are paid an agreed-upon shift differential that provides some additional hourly pay to work the night shift may be aware of the requirement of the employer to pay the legally mandated overtime rate of one and a half times the hourly rate for work beyond the eighth hour. However, an employer may not pay the overtime rate due based on the hourly rate plus the shift differential, instead determining the overtime pay based on the pre-adjusted hourly rate. Similarly, many such facilities have arranged with their employees and the state for an alternate workweek schedule of four days per week at ten hours per day, with the overtime pay rate not to be applied until after the tenth hour. This can lead to a situation where an employee is made to clock out after the eighth hour but before the tenth hour for some or all of his or her workdays, resulting in unpaid overtime on those days. A parallel situation can occur when the alternative workweek schedule consists of twelve hours per day for three workdays each week. If an employee working under this arrangement is made to clock out between the eighth and twelfth hour, this can lead to up to three or more hours of unpaid overtime each day. This practice exploits and violates the alternative work week agreement and results in underpayment of wages due to employees for their labor. Our office, which has many years of experience fighting for employee wage rights, is a little over thirty miles west of Covina. If, upon a review of your pay stub, you see that your employer appears not to be paying you everything you are owed, contact our office for a free consultation.