Every employee deserves to be paid a fair wage for their honest day’s work. However, some employers take advantage of employees by not paying them enough or not paying them at all. Thankfully, both federal and California wage and hour laws protect workers to ensure that they get paid the wages they deserve.
GET A LOS ANGELES WAGE AND HOUR DISPUTE ATTORNEY ON YOUR SIDE
Taking advantage of employees is never okay. If you feel like you are not being paid the right wage, you can take action. A Los Angeles wage and hour dispute attorney can help you assert your rights as an employee—and get the payment you deserve for your work based on applicable wage and hour laws. Here, we run through some of the most common wage and hour claims and violations that we see in Los Angeles, California. As wage and hour attorneys, we also address some of your rights as an employee if this type of situation is happening to you.
FAILING TO PAY MINIMUM WAGE OR THE APPLICABLE PREVAILING WAGE IN LOS ANGELES
CALIFORNIA MINIMUM WAGE
The minimum wage in California right now is $12.00 per hour for employers that have 26 or more employees. If the employer has 25 or fewer employees, then the minimum wage drops to $11.00 per hour. These minimums are set to increase by one dollar each year until 2023.
LOS ANGELES MINIMUM WAGE
Los Angeles County has higher minimum wages compared to the rest of California. They are $15.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $14.25 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. This amount is set to increase to $15.00 per hour on July 1.
The “prevailing wage” is specifically tailored to public works employees. There are specific minimums that apply to these unique projects that must be followed.
DAMAGES FOR MINIMUM WAGE VIOLATIONS
If you are not being paid the minimum wage in California, you may have a wage and hour case. You may be able to force your employer to pay you at least minimum wage for the time that you have worked. Additional damages may be available as well.
FAILING TO PAY FOR OVERTIME OR DOUBLE TIME
Employees that are considered “nonexempt” should receive “time and a half” (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) for working overtime. In Los Angeles, overtime is generally defined as:
- Work of over 40 hours in any workweek
- Any work that is over 8 hours in one workday
- All hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work
You should also receive double time for any workday that is over 12 hours in one day. Some employers make “unique” schedules to avoid paying overtime or force you to work off the clock so that you do not earn overtime. Some simply decline to pay you overtime at all. Whatever the case, you likely have a wage and hour dispute if you are not paid the correct amount of overtime.
MISCLASSIFYING WORKERS: INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AND EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
Independent contractors or exempt employees do not have as many rights or benefits compared to traditional hourly employees. As a result, some employers will deliberately misclassify workers to avoid paying them minimum wages, overtime, or double time.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: WHO ARE THEY?
An independent contractor is someone who often works on a per-project basis. Their wages are usually not hourly. They shoulder their own expenses, and they often work for more than one person at a time. Independent contractors dictate when and how much they work to complete a project. If that description does not sound like what you are doing, but your employer is classifying you as an independent contractor, you should talk to a Los Angeles wage and hour dispute attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
EXEMPT EMPLOYEES: WHO ARE THEY?
The definition of “exempt employee” is set out by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An exempt employee is generally someone who works based on a set salary. Minimum wage laws and overtime pay laws do not apply to exempt employees. Exempt employees usually fall into just a few categories of workers, including:
- Computer or technology related personnel
- Outside sales
While exempt employees can be found in a wide variety of jobs, classifying an employee as exempt is not always done correctly. If you have concerns, talk to a Los Angeles wage and hour attorney to learn more.
NOT PAYING CERTAIN WORK-RELATED EXPENSES
Your employer should reimburse you for all necessary expenses to complete their job. While the definition of a “reasonable and necessary” expense is somewhat broad, the general rule is this: If you incurred an expense to perform your job, your employer should reimburse you for it. You may need to follow certain protocols or procedures to receive the reimbursement, but your employer should generally not force you to incur expenses for your job.
NOT GIVING REQUIRED BREAK TIMES OR NOT PAYING EMPLOYEES FOR BREAKS
As an employee, you must be provided with certain break times and time to eat lunch. If your employer does not give you meal and rest breaks or does not pay you during required break times (with certain exceptions for lunch), then you are underpaid because of hour violations—and you may have a wage and hour claim against your employer.
GET LEGAL HELP WITH YOUR WAGE AND HOUR CLAIM IN LOS ANGELES, CA
A wage and hour disputes lawyer in Los Angeles will be able to help you fight back against your employer if you are being underpaid and dealing with wage and hour violations. Contact us to learn more. You can also schedule a free consultation by calling (310) 363-0403.