Secure Legal Help for Your Wage and Hour Complaints
If you have complaints against your employer for not paying you the correct wages or for violating laws pertaining to hours worked, then you may need the help of a wage and hour attorney. California law is very specific when it comes to employee rights. You have the right to certain earnings, and you have the right to things like breaks.
If your employer violations California wage and hour laws, you can then file a lawsuit to fight for the money you deserve. You do not have to sit back and let your employer take advantage of you. These laws specifically protect you and compel your employer to follow them.
What Do Wage and Hour Laws Cover?
Wage and hour laws cover a broad amount of things pertaining to your work hours and payment for those hours. They will dictate the hours your employer can make you work and the related pay for those hours, including minimum wage and overtime pay.
The laws set rules for all types of breaks, including breaks for breastfeeding mothers. They also ensure that employers define work hours and do not make you work off the clock.
Finally, these laws help define classifications. Classifications are important because employees will have more coverage and protection than independent contractors or exempt employees, which include some teachers and commission-earning employees.
How Much Does My Employer Have To Pay Me?
While the state does not legislate exactly how much your employer must pay you, it does set a minimum wage. Employers cannot pay under the minimum wage unless there is an exemption, which only applies in limited situations.
As of January 1, 2020, the state minimum wage is $12.00 an hour if your employer has 25 or fewer employees and $13.00 an hour if your employer has 26 or more employees. The minimum wage increases yearly with an expectation that it will be $15.00 an hour by 2022.
Do note that this is the state minimum wage rate. Cities and counties can also set minimum wage. Your employer must pay according to the higher limit. So, if the city where you work requires a minimum wage of $14.00 an hour, then your employer must pay at least that much.
Overtime pay is time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in one week or eight in one day. It also applies to any hours worked on the seventh consecutive day. Your employer must pay you double time for any hours over 12 that you work in one day or any hours over eight that you work on a seventh consecutive day.
Wage laws also dictate how wage statements must look. You have the right to receive an itemized written statement that accurately explains your gross wages, hours worked, rate of pay and pay period dates. This must come to you either as a written statement or a detachable portion of a printed paycheck.
Am I Entitled to Breaks at Work?
You do have a right to breaks at work, depending on how many hours you work at a time. Whenever you work four hours or more, your employer must give you at least one ten-minute break. Your employer must pay you for this break and cannot make you clock in and out for it.
If you work five or more hours in one day, your employer must give you a 30-minute meal break. The employer can make you clock in and out for this and does not have to pay you for it. You have the right to waive this break if you do not work more than six hours that day.
If you work more than 10 hours in a day, you also get another 30-minute meal break. You can waive this break if you took the first break and if you are not working more than 12 hours that day.
Do note these rules only require a minimum of 30-minutes. Your employer can give you a longer break. In addition, if you are part of a union, you may have different rules for meal breaks, and those rules trump the state law.
Mothers who are breastfeeding have the right to break time to allow them to express breast milk. There are no hard rules about these breaks except that they should be reasonable.
If your employer does not give you breaks as the law requires, you can file a lawsuit asking for payment equal to one hour’s pay for each day your employer did not give you a required break.
Why Might I Need a Wage and Hour Attorney?
You should contact a wage and hour attorney if you have any concerns about wage and hour violations. Your employer must follow the law, or you can make a claim in court. Some reasons why you may take your employer to court include:
- Not paying minimum wage
- Not paying overtime
- Requiring you to work without pay
- Not giving you proper breaks
- Misclassifying your employment type
You have the right to stand up for yourself and hold your employer accountable. It is your right to bring a case in court to fight for proper wages or against unfair or illegal practices.
An experienced wage and hour attorney can help you understand what laws apply to you. He or she can assess your situation and let you know if you have a valid case. Your lawyer can also fight for unpaid wages owed to you, interest on unpaid wages and fees and costs for litigation. He or she can also help you to sue for misclassification and the resulting loss of wages and other benefits you should have received.
If your employer ignores wage and hour laws, then you and other employees may have a class action claim. You will need a knowledgeable attorney to assist you with such a case.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
You do not have to let your employer take advantage of you. If you feel something is unfair concerning your wages or the hours you work, then seek legal help right now. Submit a request online or call us today at 866-345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!