Employee Rights No Fees Unless We Win
Wage and Hour Lawyer
All employees are entitled to the generous protections available under California and federal wage and hour laws. All employees deserve to be paid fairly and fully for the work they perform and deserve to receive their legally allotted rest and meal breaks. Unfortunately, due to ignorance or greed or some combination of both, employers all too frequently violate wage and hour laws to the detriment of their employees. The employment lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm know wage and hour laws. We are committed to protecting the rights of California workers and ensuring that they are paid correctly for all the time they work and also that workers receive the rest and meal breaks to which they are entitled. There are numerous protections for employees. Call or contact us for a free consultation.Is Your Employer Violating Your Rights? Commonplace Wage and Hour Violations
Wage and Hour Violations come in a multitude of forms. Some are relatively easy for a worker to spot, while others require detailed analysis to uncover. Some of the more frequently encountered varieties of wage and hour violations by companies (employers) are as follows:
- Failing to pay employees for all hours worked
- Failing to pay employees minimum wage
- Failing to provide employees with legal rest breaks
- Failing to provide employees with legal meal breaks
- Failing to provide employees with legal paystubs
- Failing to pay employees all wages due upon termination of employment
- Misclassifying employees as exempt employees and thus not paying the employees an overtime rate of pay
- Failing to reimburse employees for work-related expenses
- Failing to pay employees owed bonuses, commissions, tips, or gratuities
- Failing to pay employees earned overtime or double time
- Failing to pay employees overtime or double time at the correct rate of pay
- Misclassifying employees as an independent contractors
An employer must pay its employees for all time that they are working for the employer. In fact, a California employer must pay its employees for every minute worked. Troester v Starbucks Corp. (2018) 5 Cal.5th 829. Regrettably, employers frequently ignore this mandate, finding deceptive ways not to pay their employees for all the time they have worked.
An employer does not pay its employees for all time worked when a computerized time-keeping system adjusts employees’ time by Automatic Rounding of the time worked. Please see our Employer's Failure To Pay For All Hours Worked page.
California employers must pay workers for all “hours worked.” This includes all time that a worker is under the control of the employer. When the employer requires its employees to wait in line and pass through a security screening check-in before clocking in for a shift or after clocking out from a shift, they are under the control of the employer and must be paid for that time.
When an employer requires employees upon arriving at the workplace to put on protective clothing before clocking in for a shift or to remove or clean protective clothing after clocking out from a shift (this is also called “donning and doffing”), the employer fails to pay its employees for all hours worked and violates the law. Employers also violate the law when they require employees to remove or clean protective clothing after clocking out for lunch so that employees end up spending part of their meal break working without being paid for that work. Please see our Compensation for Being On-Call, Time Spent Putting on Safety Gear, and Training Programs page.Has Your Employer Failed to Pay You Minimum Wage?
Pursuant to Cal Lab Code § 1197, absent certain Wage Exemptions, payment of less than the Minimum Wage fixed by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office is unlawful. As permitted by California law, some cities impose a higher minimum wage on employers for each hour worked within the city’s boundaries.Has Your Employer Failed to Provide You Legal Rest Breaks?
California Wage Orders and other California laws require employers to authorize and permit nonexempt employees to take a 10 minute paid rest break that must, insofar as practicable, be taken in the middle of each four hour work period. Please see our Overtime, Rest Breaks, And Meal Breaks page.Has Your Employer Failed to Provide You Legal Meal Breaks?
California Wage Orders and other California laws require employers to provide nonexempt employees no less than a thirty-minute meal break when the employee works more than five hours. Please see our Overtime, Rest Breaks, And Meal Breaks page. In addition, your employer may be using meal period auto-deduct to conceal the fact that your employer may not be providing you legal meal breaks. Please see our Employer's Failure To Pay For All Hours Worked page.Has Your Employer Failed to Provide You Legal Paystubs?
California Wage Orders and other California laws require employers at the time that wages are paid to provide employees with paystubs, also known as itemized wage statements. Itemized wage statements must contain specific information. California law imposes penalties on employers who do not follow these requirements.
Categories of information required to be on itemized wage statements include:
- Gross wages earned in the pay period
- Total hours worked in the pay period (applies to non-exempt employees)
- All deductions, including taxes, social security, disability insurance and health insurance, etc., unless the employee authorizes the deductions to be combined as one item
- Net wages earned in the pay period
- The start and end dates of the pay period
- Name of the employee and last four digits of his/her Social Security number (SSN) or employee ID number
- The full name and address of employer or legal entity that is the employer
- All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours the employee worked at each hourly rate.
Your employer also has a Record Keeping duty concerning documents related to your employment and must allow you to inspect them under certain conditions. Please see our Minimum Wage page.Did Your Former Employer Fail to Pay You All Wages You Were Due at the end of Your Employment?
California public policy promotes the full and prompt payment of wages due an employee. In furtherance of that goal, Cal Lab Code §§ 201-203 require prompt payment of all wages due when employment ends. If the employer ends the employment, all wages earned and unpaid at the time of discharge are due and payable immediately. If the employee voluntarily quits his or her employment, all wages earned and unpaid at the time that the employee quit are due and payable within 72 hours. Please see our Minimum Wage page. If, for example, over the course of employment the employer failed to pay the employee on the established paydays all the time the employee worked due to Automatic Rounding, or failed to pay the employee for time spent putting on or taking off protective clothing, then the employer has also failed to promptly pay all wages due upon employment ending. Employers who fail to follow the law are liable for both penalties (waiting time penalties) and for the amount of wages due but unpaid.Are You an Employee Who Has Been Misclassified as an Exempt Employee and is Not Being Paid Overtime?
Generally, employees must be paid overtime for working in excess of 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Please see our Overtime, Rest Breaks, And Meal Breaks page. Some employees, if certain pay and job duties conditions are met, are exempt from the requirement that the employer pay them additional compensation in the form of overtime pay for excess hours of work. Please see our Overtime Exemptions page.Has Your Employer Failed to Reimburse You for Work-Related Expenses
Employers must reimburse employees for expenses and losses the employee paid in the performance of the employee's work duties. Please see our Reimbursement of Work Expenses page.Has Your Employer Failed to Provide You Earned Bonuses, Commissions, Tips, or Gratuities?
A bonus is money an employer has promised to an employee in addition to his or her usual wage. A bonus is a form of compensation. Sums earned as bonuses are wages under California law and are payable on the established payday. Cal Lab Code § 200.
If the employee's compensation is based on a percentage of the cost or sale price of the product or service provided, then the compensation plan is a commission. Sums earned as commissions are wages under California law and are payable on the established payday. Cal Lab Code § 200.
Under California law, employers are prohibited from sharing in or keeping any portion of a tip or gratuity left for or given to one or more employees by a customer. It is illegal for employers to use tips or gratuities to make credits against wages due to the employee from the employer. Cal Lab Code § 351. Please see our Minimum Wage page.Has Your Employer Failed to Pay You Earned Overtime or Double Time?
Eight hours of work constitutes a day’s work, and employment beyond 8 hours in any workday or more than 6 days in any workweek requires the employer to compensate the employee for the overtime at a rate that exceeds the rate of pay the employee normally earns for the work performed (Regular Rate of Pay). If certain conditions are met, your entitlement to overtime may be affected by your employer’s adoption of a regularly scheduled alternative workweek. Please see our Overtime, Rest Breaks, And Meal Breaks page.Even if Your Employer Has Paid You Overtime, Has Your Employer Failed to Pay You Overtime or Double Time Earned at the Correct Rate?
When calculating an employee’s regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating the overtime and double time rate, non-discretionary bonuses must be calculated into the formula. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual § 35.7.Has Your Employer Misclassified You as an Independent Contractor?
An employer can only hire a worker as an independent contract if certain conditions are met. If these conditions are not met, the employer has misclassified the worker as an independent contract and the worker is entitled to damages and penalties. Please see our Employee Versus Independent Contractor Lawyer page. Even if you were properly hired as an independent contractor, you may be entitled to certain protections similar to those enjoyed by employees. Please see our Gig Worker Lawyer page.Contact Us
For more information, contact California’s top wage and hour lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. Call us or contact us via our online form. Ask about our free initial consultation.
- Minimum Wage
- Wage Exemptions
- Overtime, Rest Breaks, And Meal Breaks
- Overtime Exemptions
- Employer's Failure To Pay For All Hours Worked
- Compensation for being On-Call, Time spent putting on Safety Gear, and Training Programs
- Reimbursement of Work Expenses
- Employee Versus Independent Contractor Lawyer
- Gig Worker Lawyer