Wage and Hour Violations

San Diego Wage and Hour Lawyers

overtimeMany employers take advantage of their employees and workers violating their employment rights concerning how they are paid. The Gould Firm represents employees whose rights have been violated. We will pursue your employer to recover monetary damages including lost wages, penalties, interest and attorney’s fees you may be entitled to.

Many employees do not realize that Federal, State and in some cases, local laws protect them by requiring employers to pay minimum wages, overtime wages and also require employers in most cases to provide meal breaks, rest periods or compensation in lieu thereof. These laws also provide employees other rights concerning how their paychecks are calculated.

Our firm believes that employees should be treated fairly and be paid for all the hours they work. Both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California wage and hour laws make it illegal to not pay employees the money they have earned. Yet some employers will try to avoid paying overtime by altering time cards or requiring work to be performed off-the-clock.

Does your employer routinely ask you to work off the clock to avoid paying overtime? Are you being paid less than minimum wage?  Are the hours you actually work all being taken into account? Does your employer claim that you are an independent contractor in order to avoid paying you a fair salary for the work that you perform? Does your employer claim that you are a manager and claim that you are not entitled to overtime?  Have you earned commissions which have been denied due to your employer falsely claiming you are an independent contractor? These are all ways your employer may be hiding the fact they are cheating you out of your wages and violating the law.

Another misconception of some employers is the idea that if an employee is paid a salary, the employee is not entitled to overtime compensation. This is often incorrect. California wage and hour laws interpret a salary as a figure based on 40 hours per week and 8 hours per day. If you work more than either 40 hours per week or more than 8 hours per day, you may still be entitled to compensation above and beyond your salary. Some employers try to avoid paying employees their appropriate wages by claiming that an employee is a supervisor when they are not. This is illegal and the employer can be held accountable.

If your employer tells you that you are exempt from overtime pay or other benefits because you are “management” or in “sales” this may be an attempt by your employer to avoid paying you the wages you are entitled to. There are specific requirements that must be met for you to be deemed an “exempt” employee and your employer cannot avoid paying you overtime by saying you hold a position you and the employer know you do not.

Another area where employers often fail to compensate their employees is the failure to provide meal periods and rest breaks. Employers in California must provide and document meal breaks of 30 minutes for every five hours of work. However, certain exceptions may apply as in the case of an agreed-upon written waiver. For every meal break violation, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of pay as a penalty. The employee is also entitled to a 10-minute rest break after 3-1/2 hours worked in a 4-hour shift. This is time for the employee to rest, relax and do as they choose. For every rest break violation, the employer must also pay one additional hour of pay to the employee as a penalty.

If you or your co-workers believe you may have been cheated or taken advantage of by your employer, you can speak confidentially with an attorney with the expertise to advise you on your rights and evaluate whether your employer has failed to comply with the rules and regulations that protect you. If you were deprived of wages, meal breaks or rest breaks the employment law attorneys at The Gould Firm to protect your rights. We understand California’s employment laws and are here to help. Call us at (619) 273-3431 or use our online contact form and schedule a free consultation today.