Our office advocates for employees with various wage and hour claims under state and federal laws including claims for:
Unpaid Wages/Untimely Wages
Under California law, you are entitled to be paid wages for all time you are under the employer’s control, whether you are required to work or not. You do not have to work off the clock without getting paid. Further, you must be paid in a timely fashion. Hours worked include “on-call” time, downtime, travel time, and sometimes drive time. Employers must issue paychecks on valid accounts with sufficient funds to pay you at the time the wages are due and owing.
Overtime & Minimum Wage
Employees are guaranteed at least minimum wage for each hour worked. Beyond minimum wage, employees are entitled to overtime wages if you work more than 8 per day and 40 hours per week.
Reporting to Work Pay
Generally, you are entitled to pay for at least half your scheduled shift if you report to work for your regularly scheduled shift, and you are sent home early. Reporting wages must equal at least 2 hours, but no more than 4 hours, of wages at your regular hourly rate.
Sometimes employers attempt to avoid paying overtime wages by classifying employees as independent contractors, exempt, outside salespersons, or salaried employees. Whether or not an employee is truly exempt from overtime wages is determined by looking at the actual work performed by the employee regardless of what classification the employer dictates.
Under certain circumstances, an employer may pay you in part, or in whole, on a commission basis. However, to be lawful, a commission compensation plan must meet strict requirements and you must be engaged in selling a product or service. Generally, an employer cannot deduct earned commissions from your pay and must pay all earned commission upon termination.
Denial Meal/Rest Periods
You are entitled to take meal and rest periods that are duty-free. In other words, an employer cannot require you to work during your meal or rest period except in some limited situations. Employers must provide a ten minute unpaid rest period if you work at least 3.5 hours in a shift and a 30 minute unpaid meal period if you work longer than five hours. The longer you work during the day means the employer must provide more rest and meal periods.
California law requires employers to pay all wages due and owing, including vacation time, immediately upon termination and within 72 hours after resignation. A violation of either of these laws entitles the employee to damages, including waiting time penalties from the due date until a maximum of 30 days.
The law does not allow an employer to deduct or withhold your wages from your paycheck unless the deductions are required under the law (e.g. taxes), the deduction is to cover contributions or you authorize the deduction in writing. It is unlawful for an employer to deduct your wages for items such as cash shortages, business losses, or most damage to company property.
Reimbursement of Business Expenses
Employers must reimburse all necessary business-related expenses you incur as a result of performing your job duties. Examples of business expenses include some mileage, cell phone usage, uniforms, equipment, and travel expenses.