Making Sure You’re Paid What You’ve Earned
When the work you do doesn’t translate to the money you’re owed from your employer, it’s understandably a cause for stress and frustration. At Rothschild & Atwill, our attorneys know the law and how to fight for the compensation you’re owed for your hard work.
How Do Wage and Hour Claims Happen?
Even though pay rates, meal breaks, rest breaks, and other regulations seem straightforward under the law, employers are often surprisingly unfamiliar with the California Labor Code. Both misunderstandings and intentional disregard of the law may result in:
- Employee misclassification – labeling you an independent contractor instead of an employee entitled to overtime and paid breaks, for example;
- Work schedules that violate wage and hour laws;
- Improper payment of wage rate if you worked overtime or double time; and
- In some egregious cases, employers who ask you to work off the clock without compensation.
It’s important to know that even if an unintentional violation results in lost wages, your employer owes you proper compensation for the time you spent at work.
Current California Laws
When it comes to wage and hour laws, California requires employers to adhere to certain pay rates and conditions:
- Overtime in a workday: Non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their regular pay rate when they work more than 8 hours in a workday (“time and a half”). If the employee works more than 12 hours in any workday, they must be paid at least 2 times their regular pay rate (“double time”).
- Overtime in a workweek: On the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, non-exempt employees must earn 1.5 times their regular pay rate for the first 8 hours worked. Any additional hours worked must be paid at least 2 times the regular pay rate.
- Sick time: California employers must provide paid sick leave for employees who work at least 30 days in a year.
- Vacation time: California does not require employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid time off. If provided, the policy must comply with accrual and vesting laws. And, if you are entitled to paid vacation time at your job, your employer cannot withhold pay or punish you for using it.
- Meal and rest breaks: Non-exempt employees must be given a 10-minute rest break for every 4 hours worked and a 30-minute meal break after 5 hours of work.
- Bonuses or commissions wages: These must be paid within a specified time period after being earned by the employee. Employers cannot withhold these wages as a form of retaliation or when the employee leaves their employment.
Get Help Getting Paid
If your employer failed to pay you in accordance with California law, misclassified you, improperly withheld your wages, or did not allow you proper breaks, contact us today. Our attorneys know how to fight for clients and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Email us or call or office in Bakersfield at (661-369-8510) or in Santa Barbara at (805-845-1190) to schedule an initial confidential consultation at no charge. Se habla Español.