Although most modern workers are employed at-will and can be fired for any reason, employees still maintain certain rights under federal law – and here in California, the wage and labor protections are stronger than almost any other state in the nation. That means that if your employer unfairly docked your pay or forced you to work unpaid overtime, you could be eligible to receive damages and back pay for those violations.
When you need help proving a wage violation occurred at your workplace, you can count on our attorneys at Habbas & Associates. Committed to workers’ rights and ensuring that these protections are observed, we will serve as passionate advocates on your behalf, and pursue the best possible outcome.
Of course, it can often be tricky to identify wage and hour violations on your own, which employers know all too well. While there may be many violations that aren’t covered on this list, there are also some common patterns that we’ve seen at workplaces across the state.
Here are just a few of the most common wage violations committed by employers:
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Employees have rights to meal and rest breaks, overtime, and other important benefits that independent contractors do not. Whether because of ignorance or wrongful action, your employer cannot purposely misclassify your role as an independent contractor to avoid giving these benefits.
- Asking workers to perform tasks off the clock, without added compensation. Overtime is mandatory for all non-exempt workers in California, which means that you must be paid at a higher rate for every hour worked past 40 in a week. If you’re being asked to work off the clock, and you do not qualify as exempt, it could be a wage violation.
- Offering a salary lower than minimum wage. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25, the California minimum wage is $11.00 an hour. Your employer is required to meet at least that amount, regardless of whether you receive tips.
- Failing to pay checks on time and in the right amount. You’re entitled to a regular paycheck for all the hours you’ve worked. Employers who fail to provide the determined amount on time can be held accountable for those lapses.
- Taking tips from you. If you work in the restaurant or entertainment industries, tips may be a major factor in your annual compensation. Even if you’re making above minimum wage as a baseline, however, your employer cannot take these tips from you, nor can they cut your baseline pay to adjust for a “tip credit.”
- Failing to offer proper meal and rest breaks. Non-exempt workers are entitled to one unpaid 30-minute meal break and two paid 10-minute rest break for every 8 hours worked, with additional breaks for every hour of overtime added to that.
Fighting Back Against Wage Violations
Do you believe that your employer has committed any of the wage and hour violations listed above? If so, our team can help you pursue a claim with the Wage and Labor Board, and get the benefits to which you are entitled. Because this area of the law can be exceptionally complex, it’s a good idea to have someone on your side that you can trust.
With 200 years of legal experience, our attorneys have shown time and again that they are committed to workers’ rights. By supporting you and offering expert legal guidance throughout your wage and hour violation claim, we may be able to increase your chance of securing the right compensation for your efforts.
Call (888) 387-4053 to get started on your wage and hour violations claim today.