California Wage and Hour Law Lawyers
In the United States, all employees are protected by federal and state laws that regulate compensation, hours, and other working conditions. When an employer violates these laws, the employer can be held accountable. Employees are increasingly asked to work longer hours and to increase productivity. Often an employer is guilty of improper conduct, such as misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime when they are not, failing to provide meal and rest periods, demanding employees to work off the clock, failing to pay overtime hours, and failing to provide the employee with accurate pay stubs. If you feel that you are owed unpaid wages, or that your employer unfairly prevented you from receiving the correct minimum wage or overtime pay, you should contact Arias Ozzello & Gignac as soon as possible. Our experienced California wage and hour attorneys will help you with your claim and see that your rights to lawful wages are protected.
California Wage and Hour Laws
Wage and hour laws are governed by the California Labor Code and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The most common areas of employer violations include the following:
- Overtime: Overtime pay laws protect employees from being forced to work extensive hours without additional compensation. Most employees are entitled to overtime compensation of one and one-half times their regularly hourly pay rate for work in excess of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. Workers who have been denied overtime pay can recover the unpaid wages due plus attorney’s fees and costs. Under federal law, an employee may also be able to recover liquidated damages as well.
- Minimum wage: Some employers improperly reclassify employees in order to pay them less than a minimum wage. Nearly all workers in California must be paid at least the minimum wage of $8.00 per hour.
- Meal and rest periods: California employees are entitled to take regular meal and rest breaks during the work period. Generally, an employee who works a shift of at least 5 hours must receive a meal period of at least 30 minutes (10 hours or more includes a second 30 minute period). In addition to meals, an employee is entitled to rest breaks of 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked.
California Prevailing Wage
Under California’s Labor Code, employers who are awarded public work contracts from state or municipal governments are required to pay their employees a “prevailing wage,” which is determined by the Department of Industrial Relations. Often such an employer will intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying the prevailing wage. Employers who fail to pay their employees the prevailing wage must not only compensate them for any underpayment but are also subject to penalties and fines.
Types of Cases that We Handle
At Arias Ozzello & Gignac, we represent employees whose rights have been violated in the workplace. We handle many types of wage and hour claims, including the following:
- Failure to pay overtime for any hours worked over 8 hours in a single day or 40 hours per week
- Improper classification of workers as salaried and exempt from overtime wage requirements
- Failure to provide adequate meal and rest breaks
- Failure to pay the minimum wage
- Failure to pay employees for off the clock work before and after a shift
- Misclassification of employees as independent contractors
- Altering time cards
- Failure to pay commissions
- Failure to pay vacation pay
- Failure to give 60 days notice of a mass layoff
- Final paycheck violations
California Hour and Wage Attorneys
Unfortunately for workers, some employers try to short-change their employees by failing to pay them proper wages. If you are an employee and believe that you have not received the compensation that is due to you, contact Arias Ozzello & Gignac as soon as possible. Our experienced California employment law attorneys will review your case and determine if your employer has violated the California hour and wage laws. There are several ways in which we can hold your employer accountable and collect your unpaid wages, including negotiation, filing a claim with the Labor Commission, or even filing a lawsuit in court.