Unpaid Wages

Monterey County Unpaid Wage Attorney

Fighting for Your Unpaid Wages in Monterey County

When you perform work for an employer, you have a right to be paid fully for that work. State and federal laws enforced by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division require employers to pay their workers properly and in a timely manner. Despite this, California employers still regularly violate these labor laws by not paying employees properly for their hours worked.

What is Wage Theft?

Wage theft refers to the denial of wages or employee benefits rightfully owed to an employee. This can occur in various forms and often involves employers not paying workers according to the legal standards set by labor laws. Wage theft is a significant issue that can negatively impact workers' financial stability and overall well-being.

What Are the Most Common Wage & Hour Issues?

Common wage & hour issues include:

  • Minimum Wage Violations: An employer pays an employee $6 per hour, even though the state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. This underpayment violates wage laws and deprives the employee of their rightful earnings.
  • Unpaid Overtime: An employee works 50 hours in a week but is only paid their regular hourly rate for all hours worked. The employer fails to pay the required 1.5 times the regular rate for the 10 hours of overtime, which is a violation of overtime laws.
  • Failure to Provide Meal Breaks: A worker is scheduled for an 8-hour shift but does not receive the mandated 30-minute meal break or the 10-minute rest breaks. This denial of breaks violates labor regulations and can negatively affect the employee's well-being.
  • Improper Pooling of Tips: Tips intended for servers are improperly shared with managers or non-tipped staff, or the employer takes a portion of the tips. This practice violates tip pooling regulations and reduces the income servers rightfully earn.
  • Misclassification of Employees: A worker who performs duties similar to those of an employee is classified as an independent contractor. This misclassification denies the worker benefits such as overtime pay and health insurance, violating labor laws.
  • Off-the-Clock Work: An employee is required to complete tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, and is not compensated for this time. This practice results in unpaid labor and violates wage and hour regulations.
  • Illegal Deductions from Pay: An employer deducts the cost of uniforms and equipment from an employee's paycheck without their consent. These unauthorized deductions reduce the employee's earnings and are illegal under labor laws.
  • Failure to Pay for All Hours Worked: An employee is not paid for attending mandatory training sessions or for travel time between job sites during the workday. This results in unpaid work hours and violates wage laws requiring compensation for all hours worked.
  • Retaliation for Complaints: An employee who reports wage theft is demoted, terminated, or faces adverse working conditions as a result. This retaliation is illegal and discourages employees from exercising their rights to report violations.
  • Failure to Provide Final Paychecks: An employee who is terminated does not receive their final paycheck within the legally required timeframe. This delay in payment is a violation of labor laws and causes financial hardship for the employee.

An employer who engages in such actions is committing wage theft.

You have rights to receive your wages without excessive delays even if you are:

  • Fired
  • Laid off
  • You resign from your position

By law, an employer must pay your wages in a time-sensitive manner:

  • If you have been laid off or wrongfully terminated, your employer must pay you immediately (including money owed to you for unused vacation days and time-off benefits).
  • If you voluntarily resign, you are entitled to receive all wages owed to you within 72 hours.

Is your employer withholding your pay or denying you your rightful overtime pay? It is time to call an unpaid wage lawyer at Polaris Law Group. You can reach out to the law firm at (888) 796-4010 or contact us online.

How Do You Know If You Have Unpaid Wages?

There are a number of situations where employers will illegally withhold pay from their employees. In California, the extent of a worker's right to wages or benefits will often depend on whether they are classified as an "employee" or an "independent contractor." If an employer wrongfully classified you as an independent contractor, he/she could face severe penalties.

Employers illegally withhold pay from employees in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Asking you to work off the clock
  • Charging you for uniforms or other supplies
  • Failing to pay the minimum wage
  • Failing to pay overtime wages
  • Failing to pay commissions
  • Failing to pay for meal breaks
  • Failing to pay your final wages after termination
  • Failing to pay an employee for time spent preparing for work
  • Failing to pay an employee for time spent at mandatory meetings, training, etc.

If you were illegally denied your rightfully earned wages, you could be entitled to back pay and an equal amount as liquidated damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs. Our attorneys can provide legal advice for your situation and help you file a claim for your unpaid wages.

Understanding Minimum Wage Violations

In the state of California, employees are entitled to a minimum wage of $14 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. Smaller employers must pay their employees $13 per hour. Some counties and cities, like Los Angeles, have higher minimum wages.

Employees who were not paid the minimum wage may be able to obtain liquidated damages. This is a set amount to compensate difficult to quantify losses. Additionally, employees can be penalized for either not providing or providing inaccurate wage statement information.

Employment Misclassification

Classification of a worker as either an independent contract or employee has significant effects on that worker's wages.

Sometimes, employers will purposefully misclassify employees as contractors to get around:

  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime
  • And other wage issues

Misclassified workers can be denied important benefits and rights. California makes use of the ABC test in determining correct worker classification.

The ABC test means a worker must be considered an employee unless all of the following are true:

  • The individual's work performance is not under the control of the hirer
  • The individual's work is performed outside of the hirer's typical business
  • The individual works in an independent trade, occupation, or business and that same work is performed for the hirer

If you believe you have been misclassified, you have the right to take action. Our employment lawyers can help you file a claim and recover compensation.

Learn More During a Free Initial Consultation: (888) 796-4010

Do you believe your employer denied your rightfully earned wages? This is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and you may be able to file a wage claim.

Contact Polaris Law Group for help. Attorney Bill Marder offers free, no-obligation, and confidential consultations and is prepared to put his more than 25 years of legal experience in employment law to work for you.

Here are some examples of successful unpaid wage claims that Bill has handled:

  • $5 million in unpaid wages case
  • $4.75 million in unpaid wages case
  • $1.5 million in unpaid wages case

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For more information, call his office today at (888) 796-4010 or contact us online!

Why Choose Polaris Law Group?

  • Willing to Fight for You When Other Lawyers Won’t Take Your Case
  • Lawsuits Are Filed Within a Few Days of Consultation
  • Payment Is Only Required If a Full Recovery Is Made
  • Committed to Efficient & Effective Legal Services
  • More Than 25 Years of Experience in Employment Law
  • Free Consultations to Evaluate Your Case
Put Our Decades of Experience on Your Side Achieving Successful Outcomes to Help You Move on With Your Life