Sacramento Wage and Hour Lawyer
Let Our Firm Advocate for Your Rights
At Polaris Law Group, we understand the vital importance of fair compensation for the hard work you dedicate to your job. If you find yourself entangled in a wage and hour dispute in Sacramento, California, our experienced legal team is here to fight for your rights. With a deep understanding of California's labor laws and a proven track record of success, we are committed to helping employees navigate the complexities of wage and hour disputes.
What are Wage & Hour Disputes?
Wage and hour disputes in the workplace involve disagreements between employees and employers regarding compensation, working hours, and related labor practices. These disputes often revolve around issues such as unpaid wages, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, misclassification of employees, and other matters related to labor laws and regulations.
Common examples of wage and hour disputes include:
- Unpaid Wages: This occurs when an employer fails to pay an employee their regular wages for the hours worked. It could involve withholding paychecks, not compensating for all hours worked, or not paying the minimum wage as required by law.
- Overtime Pay: Employees who work more than a certain number of hours per week are entitled to overtime pay at a higher rate than their regular hourly wage. Disputes may arise over whether an employee is eligible for overtime, how overtime hours are calculated, and whether proper overtime compensation is provided.
- Misclassification: Employers sometimes classify workers as independent contractors or exempt employees to avoid providing benefits like overtime pay, meal breaks, and other protections granted to employees. Misclassification disputes often involve determining whether a worker should be classified as an employee or contractor based on factors such as control, work arrangement, and job duties.
- Meal and Rest Breaks: Many jurisdictions have laws mandating specific meal and rest breaks for employees during their work shift. Disputes can arise if employees are denied these breaks or are required to work during them.
- Off-the-Clock Work: Employers may ask or expect employees to perform work-related tasks before or after their scheduled shifts without compensating them for that time. If this off-the-clock work is routine and necessary, it can lead to wage disputes.
- Minimum Wage Violations: Some employers may pay employees less than the legally mandated minimum wage. This could happen either intentionally or due to calculation errors.
- Travel Time Compensation: If an employee's job requires travel, disputes may arise over whether the time spent traveling should be compensated as work time, especially if it occurs outside of regular working hours.
- Tip Credit and Tip Pooling: In industries where tipping is customary (e.g., restaurants), employers might improperly handle tip pooling or take improper deductions from employees' tips, resulting in wage disputes.
- Final Paycheck Issues: When an employee leaves a job, they're entitled to receive their final paycheck in a timely manner, including any unused vacation days or accrued benefits. Disputes can arise if an employer delays or withholds this payment.
- Recordkeeping and Documentation: Proper recordkeeping of employee work hours, wages, and other employment-related information is crucial. Disputes can occur if employers fail to maintain accurate records, making it difficult to verify wage and hour claims.
- Compensation for Training and Meetings: Employers must compensate employees for mandatory training sessions or meetings that occur outside regular working hours.
California Wage & Hour Laws
California's wage and hour laws are a set of regulations and statutes that govern how employers must compensate their employees for the work they perform. These laws are designed to ensure fair treatment, proper compensation, and safe working conditions for workers in the state of California.
California law classifies employees as either exempt or non-exempt based on their job duties and salary. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay and meal/rest breaks, while exempt employees are not. Exempt employees typically include executive, administrative, and professional positions, but specific criteria must be met.
Generally, employees must be provided a 30-minute meal break if they work more than 5 hours in a day, and a second 30-minute meal break if they work more than 10 hours in a day. Additionally, employees are entitled to a 10-minute rest break for every 4 hours worked or a major fraction thereof.
California's overtime laws stipulate that employees who work more than 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for each additional hour worked. For employees who work more than 12 hours in a workday or over 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, they are entitled to double their regular hourly wage.
California's labor laws carry significant penalties for violations, including fines, back pay, and potential legal action by employees. The state's labor agency, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), enforces these laws.
Ready to Help You Today
If you believe you're facing a wage and hour dispute in Sacramento, don't navigate the legal complexities alone. While we strive for negotiated settlements, we are fully prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Our skilled litigators will fiercely advocate for your rights and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
Free Consultations to Evaluate Your Case
More Than 25 Years of Experience in Employment Law
Committed to Efficient & Effective Legal Services
Payment Is Only Required If a Full Recovery Is Made
Lawsuits Are Filed Within a Few Days of Consultation
Willing to Fight for You When Other Lawyers Won’t Take Your Case