Wage and hour laws are put in place to protect an employee’s rights. Unfortunately, some employers fail to uphold their end of the law, leaving employees vulnerable to pay violations, such as lack of overtime pay and underpayment. Here are some common wage and hour disputes that employees may have against their employers.
Not Being Compensated For Working Off-The-Clock
Many times employees must put in extra time at work. Whether it’s to meet a project deadline or to get ahead of their workload, every employee is entitled to be paid overtime for extra work.
Employment law can be tricky to navigate; however, when an employee works over 40 hours in a workweek, by law, the employer must compensate the employee. California labor laws offer protection for employees who are forced to work off-the-clock without compensation. Read on to learn more about what is considered working-off-the-clock and how employees are protected.
When Are You Considered to Be Working-Off-The-Clock?
When an employee performs work for an employer, with the employer’s knowledge, without being paid, that is considered working-off-the-clock. The following are typical examples of working-off-the-clock:
- Pre-shift work - preparing the opening of a restaurant or worksite
- Post-shift labor - cleanup of job sites
- Completing paperwork
- Working during meals and breaks
How California Employees Are Protected for Off-The-Clock Work
If you are a non-exempt employee in the state of California, you are entitled to overtime pay when you put in more than 40 hours a week. However, there are many misconceptions about how overtime works for salaried employees.
Under California’s white-collar exemption, certain salaried employees are eligible for overtime pay when working more than a 40-hour workweek. Off-the-clock claims for salaried employees can be confusing. If you are an exempt employee and think you are owed compensation for off-the-clock work, contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible to learn your rights.
What is the Responsibility of the Employer?
Many employers, whether they want to admit it or not, know when an employee has been working off-the-clock. Ignoring when an employee works beyond 40 hours and not providing compensation is against Federal and state labor laws. Employment laws protect employees and hold employers accountable for paying employees for off-the-clock work.
An employer is also responsible for the following:
- Paying employees no less than minimum wage.
- Paying employees overtime for working more than 40 hours in a workweek.
- Keeping records of hours, wages, and other wage information.
How to Address Off-The-Clock Work With Your Employer
If you suspect that your employer violated working off-the-clock laws, you should inform your supervisor, human resources, or the payroll department to try and resolve the problem.
If your attempt to solve the problem with your employer is not received, it’s crucial to contact an experienced employment attorney immediately. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and help you get the overtime you deserve.
Paycheck and Payroll Disputes
Under employment laws, employees are entitled to be paid promptly for the hours they work. However, there are many instances in which an employer can break paycheck laws without calling attention to what may be happening. The following are your rights under employment law:
Employees are To Be Paid Promptly
Federal law does not dictate how a company must arrange its pay schedule. They could loosely interpret how “promptly” they should pay their employees. According to the Fair Labor and Standards Act, your check should be distributed to you in the most recent pay period for the work you have performed. If you have left your employer, you should be paid by your next scheduled payday for the last pay period that you have worked.
How Do Payroll Laws Work For Garnished Wages?
Employers cannot fire you for having a court-ordered wage garnishment, such as child support. It can be a burden for an employer to have to deal with setting up a court-ordered garnishment, leaving them to contemplate terminating your employment. However, it is illegal for you to be fired if you have one wage garnishment, and you may have a wrongful termination case on your hands.
However, when it comes to wage garnishment, it’s essential to keep in mind that federal law does not offer protection for more than one wage garnishment. If you’ve been fired for wage garnishment, it’s imperative to contact an employment attorney as soon as possible.
When Can An Employer Dock My Pay?
All paychecks must have deductions listed. Typically, social security contributions and state and federal taxes are lawfully deducted from an employee’s paycheck. However, in the state of California, employers may not dock pay for:
- Poor work performance.
- Protective equipment required for employees under OSHA.
- Workers’ compensation premiums - workers’ compensation insurance premiums are the responsibility of the employer.
- Mistakes such as cash register shortages, breakages, or loss of company property.
What Are Your Rights When You Work on Tips?
Employees in the state of Califonia who earn tips often have issues with employers that don’t always abide by federal labor laws. Here are some common questions and answers when it comes to an employee’s rights regarding tips:
What is a Tip?
An employee is considered to be tipped when a customer pays over and above the amount they are charged.
Can An Employer Take My Tips?
No. It is illegal in the state of California for your employer to take all or part of your earned tips.
Is Tip Pooling Legal?
Yes. California employment law allows tip pooling.
What are the Guidelines for Tip Pooling?
There are specific guidelines employers must follow when it comes to tip pooling. For example, only “chain of service” employees are permitted to join a tip pool. (i.e., servers, bartenders, hosts, bussers).
If you think your employer has violated employment laws, it’s your right to be compensated. Contact } today at (888) 796-4010 to learn more about how we can help.