Wage and Hour Claims

Wage and Hour Claims in California

Wage theft occurs when your employer fails to pay you wages that you are legally entitled to. In the context of overtime pay, this means that your employer must comply with the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you are a victim of wage theft in California, you can secure back pay from your employer and perhaps even your legal costs.

Discuss your ability to recover financial compensation after a
wage and hours  dispute with our experienced business lawyers today.

Wage and Hours Claims Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any exceptions to the overtime pay requirement?
Workers are generally entitled to overtime pay, with two major exceptions: self-employed independent contractors and exempt employees. If you enjoy a high degree of independence from the party who hires you, you might be classified as an independent contractor. However, employers often misclassify workers as independent contractors when they should really be employees, and doing so is illegal. Certain kinds of white-collar employees are also ineligible for overtime pay if they earn a salary of at least $455 per week. These employees include executives, administrators, professionals and certain employees in the computer industry. Outside sales staff are also ineligible for overtime pay even if they make less than $455 per week.
How do I calculate how much my employer owes me?
If you are paid by the hour, your overtime rate for hours worked over 40 hours a week is 1.5 times your regular-time hourly rate. Multiply this rate by the number of hours of overtime you worked in a given week to arrive at your overtime pay. The calculation is somewhat different for tipped employees, because of the dual pay structure for non-overtime hours (at least $2.13 an hour, but your employer must make up the difference if your tips didn’t bring you up to $7.25 an hour).  If you are paid a salary, it must be reduced to an equivalent hourly wage to calculate overtime.
What are some of the common tricks that employers use to cheat their employees out of money?
An employer may employee any one of a variety of scams to commit wage theft against you, including:
  • Averaging: Averaging your working hours over more than one week to avoid overtime pay by offsetting low working hours one week against high working hours the next (or previous) week. If you work 60 hours one week, your employer owes you 20 hours in overtime pay regardless of how few hours you work the next week.
  • Misclassification: Your employer might attempt to avoid paying you overtime by falsely classifying you as an independent contractor for example, or by giving you a false job title so that he can call you an “executive” and claim that you are exempt from overtime pay requirements.
  • Misinformation: Your employer may try to intimidate you by threatening to retaliate against you for enforcing your rights, hoping that you don’t realize that retaliation against a legitimate employee wage theft complaint is illegal in California.

The Right Lawyer Can Make a Difference

If you believe you might be a victim of wage theft, it is critical that you secure skilled legal assistance well before the statute of limitations expires. for a free initial consultation.
If you believe that you have been mistreated because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you will need an experienced LGBT discrimination attorney to help you determine whether you have a viable claim and to navigate the complexities of the California and/or federal legal system. As is always the case with lawsuits for money damages, the sooner you act the better your chances of victory will be.