There are many ways for employers to mistreat employees. Often, disputes arise from wage and hour violations.
Examples of wage and hour violations can include:
- Paying less than the minimum wage;
- Unpaid wages or overtime;
- Late payment at separation, regardless of whether separation is due to resignation, layoff, or firing;
- Unpaid sales commissions and commissions not included in overtime rates;
- Denials of meal and rest breaks or uncompensated breaks;
- Failure to reimburse employees for work-related expenses;
- Improper practices concerning vacation pay and time off; and
- Illegal wage deductions and payroll errors.
If you’re concerned your employer committed a wage violation and are looking for an experienced wage and hour attorney, Los Angeles lawyers at Ottinger Employment Lawyers can help.
Reach out to us, and a Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer can answer your questions. We’ve helped thousands of employees in every field recover millions in unpaid wages.
We’re here to fight for you and to hold your employer responsible.
State and Federal Laws Protect Your Wage and Hour Rights
In Los Angeles, wage disputes are endemic. Luckily, a good Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer knows the Federal and California wage and hour law.
A Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer knows that these laws are designed to protect your rights. California supports some of the most comprehensive protections for workers in the United States.
And many of these laws go beyond Federal employment laws to offer employees expanded protections. The following are just a few examples.
As of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for California employees working for a company with 25 employees or less is $14 per hour. Workers employed by companies with 26+ individuals are permitted $15 per hour.
Employers classify employees into three different categories:
- “Exempt” employees are exempt from federal and state laws directing overtime pay, minimum wages, and employer timekeeping.
- “Nonexempt” employees can receive benefits like overtime pay and minimum wages. Generally, California employees are non-exempt (hourly) unless they meet the specific requirements for exempt status.
- “Independent contractors” control their hours, places of work, and other business-related matters. They are compensated according to timelines and schedules and often work on a per-project basis.
Sometimes, employers misclassify employees as independent contractors. Employers who misclassify employees to avoid paying overtime and other benefits can face severe penalties.
Under California law, nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay or time-and-a-half if they work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.
They must also receive double-time if they work more than 12 hours a day or eight hours a day for seven consecutive days.
LEAVES OF ABSENCE AND THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees a period of protected unpaid leave when there is a practical reason for it, such as childbirth.
The employee must also meet all the FMLA’s guidelines to be eligible.
Under FMLA protections, an employer must offer an employee the same or a similar position upon returning, as well as the same benefits, pay, and responsibilities.
MEAL AND REST BREAKS
California law requires employers to give non-exempt employees that have worked more than five hours in one shift one meal period lasting at least 30 minutes.
An employer must also provide a meal break no later than the fifth work hour.
Employers must provide employees working more than ten hours in one shift a second 30-minute meal break no later than the end of the tenth work hour.
Outside of meal breaks, California requires employers to provide employees ten-minute rest breaks for every four hours they work.
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How Can a Wage and Hour Attorney in Los Angeles Help Me?
If your employer mistreated you, it’s time to take action. Ottinger Employment Lawyers have extensive experience with California wage and hour law and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Voted the best Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles, Ottinger Employment Lawyers will take prompt action. A wage and hour attorney can help you recover the money your employer owes you.