If you are an employee who believes your employer may have violated wage laws, you may be able to recover those wages as well as other damages and penalties. You may file a claim with state or Federal government to request they investigate the matter. However, many times it takes months or more for them to look into the situation. You don’t need an attorney but an experienced California employment lawyer will be able to determine the nature of the violation, advise you on your rights, and help you decide on the next steps swiftly without any delay.
Heit Law Group is focused solely on representing employees with disputes against their employers, including wage and hour violations. We understand that matters affecting your employment can impact your entire life and that of your family, and we are here to help. If you think your employer is violating California wage laws, give us a call.
Determining Whether California Wage and Hour Laws Apply to You
If you are an independent contractor or an exempt employee under California labor law, wage and hour laws probably do not apply to you. But if you are a non-exempt employee, they likely do apply.
Under California labor law, overtime rules do not apply to a certain classification of employees referred to as exempt employees. It is not uncommon for California employers to misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt in an attempt to avoid paying overtime or providing breaks. Even if you have signed an agreement saying you are exempt and are paid a salary instead of an hourly wage, you might still be non-exempt.
Most exempt employees work in executive, administration, and professional roles. Employees in the exempt category must meet the following criteria:
- Spend more than half or their time doing intellectual, managerial, or creative work using discretion and independent judgment in performing these duties.
- Make a salary each month that is at least twice the state minimum wage for full-time work.
There are other categories of employees who are exempt from wage and hour requirements, including:
- Skill workers in the computer software field
- Licensed physicians or surgeons
- Some commission employees
This is another area where employers will try to classify employees as independent contractors so they can avoid paying payroll tax and compliance with minimum wage and overtime laws. But you are not necessarily an independent contractor just because your employer says you are.
Most independent contractors will meet the following criteria:
- Performs a service to provide a specified result for a specified pay
- Controls how the result will be accomplished
- Is engaged in a distinct occupation or business
- Is in an occupation that is often done by independent contractors
- Is paid based on time or job and is not eligible for overtime
Types of Wage and Hour Violations
Some of the more common wage and hour violations include:
- Not paying employees the legal minimum wage
- Not paying employees for earned overtime
- Requiring that hourly employees work “off the clock”
- Failing to provide the required rest or lunch breaks on any given shift
- Misclassifying employees as “exempt” from wage and hour requirements
- Treating as independent contractors those workers who are actually employees
It should be noted that you are safeguarded from retaliation from your employer by reporting any alleged violations through California whistle blower protection laws.
Do You Believe You Are a Victim of Wage and Hour Violations in California?
If you feel your rights have been violated by your employer, then please reach out to our office immediately for a no-obligation complimentary case consultation. Every legal situation is different, but we can deliver real solutions for you. Call (310) 744-5227, email us, or complete our contact form. We never charge for your initial consultation and everything you say will always remain completely confidential, so you never have to worry about anyone knowing you spoke to an attorney.