California Employee Rights Lawyer Helping Clients with Wage and Hour Complaints
Employees who are not exempt have the right under federal and state law to be paid a minimum wage, to be paid overtime, and to be provided with rest or meal breaks at certain intervals during the day. There are many other wage and hour requirements under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and under the California Labor Code, as well.
If you have questions about filing a claim for a wage and hour violation, you should reach out to a California wage and hour complaint attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer at Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP can discuss your case with you today.
Employee Protections Against Wage and Hour Violations in California
Employees in California are protected against wage and hour violations under both federal and state law. Examples of the laws that protect employees, and under which employees may be able to file claims, can include:
Common Ways That California Employers Violate Wage and Hour Laws
There are many ways that employers violate wage and hour laws under the FLSA and the California Labor Code, including but not limited to the following:
- Failing to pay an employee the required minimum wage ($11.00 per hour);
- Making deductions from an employee’s paycheck that take the employee’s pay below the required minimum wage;
- Failing to pay an employee in a timely manner;
- Failing to pay overtime to an employee;
- Failing to pay the correct amount of overtime (which is “time and a half”);
- Failing to provide required business expenses to an employee;
- Denying an employee a paid 10-minute rest break every four hours;
- Denying an employee a bona fide meal break every five hours;
- Failing to pay an employee for a meal break that is not a bona fide meal break;
- Failing to provide an employee with itemized wage statements;
- Failing to provide required workers’ compensation insurance;
- Requiring an employee to complete “off the clock” work when the employee is not salaried;
- Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor (or vice versa);
- Misclassifying an employee as an employee who is exempt from federal or state wage and hour law requirements;
Filing a Wage and Hour Claim in California: FLSA or PAGA?
If you were the only aggrieved employee in the workplace, you will likely file your claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or a specific term of the California Labor Code. The FLSA requires employers to pay a minimum wage, to pay overtime, to provide expenses in certain cases, to pay employees in a timely manner, and to provide certain rest or meal periods. You should keep in mind that California law tends to provide additional protections to employees that federal law does not provide, such as paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage than the federal requirement.
However, if you were only one of many aggrieved employees in your workplace, you may be eligible to file a claim under the Private Attorney Generals Act (PAGA). What is PAGA, and how does it work? PAGA is a law that arises under the California Labor Code. According to the law, PAGA “authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. To be clear, PAGA says that a single employee can file a claim against the employer on behalf of all of the aggrieved employees. While PAGA claims are not limited to wage and hour violations in California, lawsuits under PAGA often are wage and hour claims.
In some ways, PAGA claims are similar to class action lawsuits in which one party becomes the representative for a large group of parties who have been harmed or injured by a violation of the law. However, it is important to understand that PAGA claims are distinct from class action claims since PAGA claims do not have to meet the stringent requirements for a class action lawsuit.
Contact a Wage and Hour Violation Attorney in California
Employees should be able to expect that their employers will abide by wage and hour law requirements. When employees are treated unfairly, they should be able to seek compensation. An experienced California wage and hour violation attorney can help. Contact Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP for more information about how we assist aggrieved employees.
Work with an Experienced Riverside Civil Rights Lawyer
Nobody deserves to finish an interaction with law enforcement bleeding, bruised, or suffering from another type of injury. If this is how you ended a recent law enforcement interaction, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your related damages through a civil rights violation claim. Get started on your case with our team of civil rights lawyers at Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP today by contacting our firm to set up your initial legal consultation.