What Are Wage & Hour Claims?
Employment law is an area of the law governing the relationship between employers and employees. California wage and hour laws set the basic standard for pay and time worked, covering issues like minimum wage, overtime, tips and meal and rest breaks in California. Unfortunately, some California employers violate wage and hour laws, and employees who don’t know their rights may not be able to protect themselves against such violations. Some common wage and hour law violations in California include failing to pay the minimum wage, failing to pay workers overtime, failing to provide meal and/or rest breaks and misclassifying employees as independent contractors. If you believe you have been the victim of a California wage and hour law violation, contact a knowledgeable California employment law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your rights.
Understanding California’s Wage and Hour Laws
The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but California has its own wage and hour laws, which are complex and rank among the most comprehensive in the country in protecting employee wage rights. These laws are covered by the California Labor Code and the Wage Orders issued by the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC), which was established to regulate wages, hours and working conditions in the state of California. The IWC is no longer in operation, but the state’s wage orders continue to be enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
Often, state wage and hour laws contradict or offer broader protections than federal law, and in such cases, employers are required to follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For instance, California has a higher minimum wage requirement than under federal law, which means employers in California must pay employees the higher amount.
Filing a California Wage and Hour Claim
As mentioned before, California law provides significant protections for employees’ wages and hours, and any violation of these protections may result in a wage and hour claim being filed by the employee. Some of the most common wage and hour violations in California include the following:
- Failing to fully pay employees on time
- Failing to fully relieve employees of work duties during breaks
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
- Misclassifying regular hourly (non-exempt) employees as “exempt” employees
- Failing to track or pay overtime wages
- Failing to follow the rules on final paychecks
Unfortunately, California wage and hour law violations occur all too frequently. In some cases, these violations are unintentional – the employer may simply be unaware of his or her legal duties. However, in other cases, employers deliberately violate the law to avoid paying employees the wages they are entitled to. By filing a wage and hour claim, employees whose rights have been violated can pursue financial compensation for their losses.
How an Experienced CA Employment Law Attorney Can Help
Wage and hour laws were put in place to ensure that California employees are paid fairly, and employers who fail to comply with state wage and hour laws, whether their actions are intentional or not, can face fines and lawsuits. If your employer has failed to pay you minimum wage or the appropriate wages for overtime hours, or if your employer requires that you continue working through a meal break or rest period, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of a wage and hour claim. A knowledgeable employment law attorney in California can help you determine the nature of the violation and decide your best course of action, which may include filing a wage and hour lawsuit in California court. Our attorney at Davtyan Law Firm have extensive experience handling California wage and hour claims and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.