Wage and Hour Attorney

Has Your Employer Broken Wage and Hour Laws? We can help.

If you believe that you have received unfair treatment from your employer regarding your hours and wages, you should immediately seek a Los Angeles employment lawyer. Colby Law Firm specializes in employment law and is here to be of service at this difficult time.

Our experienced employment law attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in wage and hour law, including

● Paying less than minimum wage
● Unpaid wages or overtime
● Denial of meal and rest breaks
● Failure to reimburse you for work-related expenses
● Wrongful termination without pay
● Refusal to issue overtime pay
● Hour violations

Our labor lawyers are well-versed in California labor law. Whether you are an exempt employee, nonexempt employee, minimum wage employee, or independent contractor, you deserve to be fully protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Work with a Colby Law Firm employment lawyer to hold your California employer accountable for misclassifying employees, hour violations, and unpaid minimum wage claims. Our law firm can help with individual cases as well as any class action lawsuit. If you want fair compensation, you need a wage-and-hour attorney in Los Angeles you can trust. You need Colby Law Firm.

Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation.

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Speak to an employment lawyer about your rights and options relating to your termination. Our staff is available today at 818.390.9786 in Los Angeles to screen your case and make an appointment with the appropriate attorney.

What are exempt vs. non-exempt employees in California?

Exempt employees in California generally must earn a minimum monthly salary and are not subject to wage and hour laws. Non-exempt employees are protected under the Labor Code requirements for rights such as overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and minimum wage. Non-exempt employees receive an hourly wage or a yearly salary of less than double the current state minimum wage.

As of January 1, 2023, the minimum annual salary to qualify as an exempt employee is $64,480 (double the state minimum wage). An exempt employee is normally an executive, administrative, or professional employee, often called a “white collar” employee. Other exempt employee types include some salespeople and computer professionals. Generally, exempt employees are key personnel who possess management and decision-making responsibilities. Employees are non-exempt unless they clearly meet the salary and job duties tests of an exempt position.

Some employees are only partially exempt, meaning certain labor laws protect them, but not others.

Exempt or Non

What Are “Salaried Non-Exempt” Employees?

Employers trying to avoid daily timekeeping and other requirements for non-exempt employees may be tempted to treat non-exempt employees as “salaried non-exempt.” To do this, they pay a flat amount for 40 hours per week and then a set amount for overtime. However, employers who treat workers as “salaried non-exempt,” even those who never or rarely work overtime, risk violating wage and hour laws.

  • “Belo contracts” and “fluctuating workweeks” are illegal in California.
  • An hourly rate is needed for paying meal and rest break premiums.
  • An hourly rate is needed for pay stub compliance.
  • Time records are needed for non-exempt employees showing when they begin and end each work period, including meal breaks, split shift intervals, and total daily hours. However, meal breaks during which operations cease and authorized rest periods need not be recorded.

If you believe your employer has violated wage and hour laws by making you a salaried non-exempt employee, contact a labor attorney at Colby Law to help. Contact us for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Minimum Wage in California, and Can My Employer Pay Me Less Than That?

As of January 1, 2023 the minimum wage in California is $15.50 per hour for all employers. Employers must pay all employees at least the minimum wage per hour.

How Can I Recover Unpaid Wages or Overtime Pay From My Employer in California?

In California, you can file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office to recover unpaid wages or overtime pay. You may also consult with an employment attorney to help you navigate the process and ensure that you receive the compensation you are owed. Colby Law Firm specializes in wage and hour law and can help you recover your lost wages.

Is It Worth It To File a Claim with the California Labor Board for Unpaid Overtime?

In many cases, if you work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, your employer may be required to pay overtime wages. Under California wage and hour laws, if your employer has not paid you overtime, it is a form of wage theft, and you have rights and avenues to claim those wages. You may be able to recover your unpaid overtime by filing a lawsuit or by bringing a Labor Board complaint. Your employer may also have to pay penalty fees depending upon various factors. Colby Law Firm can review your case and help determine if you have the necessary criteria to proceed.

Colby Law Firm provides a free and confidential consultation that can assist you. One of the first actions you’d want to review is whether you should proceed with the California labor board complaint with the appropriate state agency that could hear and investigate your claim or consider filing a lawsuit.

What Are My Rights Regarding Meal and Rest Breaks in California?

Most California employers must provide employees with the following breaks:

  • An uninterrupted 30-minute unpaid meal break when working more than five hours in a day.
  • An additional 30-minute unpaid meal break when working more than 12 hours in a day.
  • A paid 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked.

 If your employer denies you these breaks, they may be violating the law and you may be entitled to compensation.

Is My Employer Required To Reimburse Me for Work-Related Expenses in California?

In California, employers are required to cover the cost of reasonable work-related expenses. This can include things like mileage, tools, uniforms, or other items required for your job.

What Can I Do if I Was Wrongfully Terminated Without Pay in California?

If you believe you were wrongfully terminated without pay, it’s essential to consult with an experienced employment attorney who can help you understand your rights and explore your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, benefits, and possibly other damages. Colby Law Firm specializes in employment law. Our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers can help. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

What Are the Rules for Overtime Pay in California, and What Can I Do if My Employer Refuses To Pay Overtime?

While federal law requires employers to pay nonexempt employees an overtime rate of at least one-and-one-half times their regular wage for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek, California law provides even further protections.

California’s overtime law requires employers to pay nonexempt employees one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate of pay for:

  • All hours worked in excess of 8 in a single workday
  • All hours worked in excess of 40 in a single workweek, and
  • The first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive work day in the workweek.

California employers must pay non-exempt employees twice their regular hourly rate of pay for:

  • All hours worked in excess of 12 in a single workday, and
  • All hours worked in excess of 8 on the seventh consecutive day of work in the workweek.

Employees deprived of overtime pay because of misclassification can seek back pay for the unpaid overtime wages. Additionally, the employer may be obligated to pay the legal costs and attorney fees that the employee incurred while pursuing their overtime wages.

Colby Law Firm specializes in employment law. Our Los Angeles wage and hour lawyers can help. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

What Should I Do if My Employer Is Violating California’s Wage and Hour Laws?

If you believe your employer is violating wage and hour laws, such as by failing to pay minimum wage, overtime, or provide meal and rest breaks, you can file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. Additionally, consulting with an experienced employment attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options.

Colby Law Firm specializes in employment law. Our Los Angeles wage and hour lawyers can help. Contact us for a free case evaluation. 

Can I Be Forced To Be On Call With No Pay?

In most cases, an employer does have the right to require employees to be on call and to report as called in. Typically, only the time actually spent working is paid.

Your employer does have the right to require you to be on call. Usually, your employment contract can provide information on the “on call” requirements your employer has. This can help to guide you in determining if you can be forced to be on call with no pay. It may also help you determine if your employer’s demands violate your employment contract.

Typically, an “on call” worker is not paid unless he is called in to work.

There are state laws that cover how that time is to be paid. Normally, an employee who is on call can still engage in most aspects of their life as usual. The difference is that the employer has put the employee on call and asks that you be ready to go to work if called. For that reason, it is not uncommon to see the employer require on call staff to remain sober while on call.

California does not require employers to pay for the on call hours where the employee is not directly working for the employer but it is advisable to consult with a competent law firm to clarify what you can and cannot be paid for while on call and if your employment contract has been violated. Consider Colby Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation.

Should I Be an Exempt Employee?

To qualify as an exempt employee your job must fit the requirements for exempt employee status. Understanding the difference between an exempt employee and a non-exempt employee is the first step. When you are exempt, your job is not subject to the state and federal laws that govern how to pay wages and hourly rates. When you are a non-exempt employees your job is subject to the state and federal laws that govern how to pay wages and hourly rates.

If your job doesn’t qualify for exempt status, then you cannot be an exempt employee. Usually, there are three criteria that must be met to be an exempt employee but there are exceptions to the rule. If your job requires you to make independent decisions or judgement calls, is mostly an administrative, executive or managerial type position and your salary is at least twice the amount of California’s minimum wage for full time employees then you qualify as exempt.

And some employees are only partially exempt. This means, they are protected by some labor laws, but not others. If your employer has qualified you as an exempt employee and you do not feel that it is valid, you should seek competent legal advice. You can contact Colby Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation as your first step.

Colby Law Firm is a California Employment Firm who fights for the rights of the employee. Our firm was started by Aaron Colby who spent 15 years working “for the other side” before he started his own firm to work for the employee. Contact us for your free and confidential consultation.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Wage and Hour Cases?

If you have been a victim of wage theft and are considering pursuing a wage and hour case, the first thing you’ll need to know is the statute of limitations. The simple answer is yes there is a statue of limitations for wage and hour cases, however the statue of limitations can be either three years, two years or four years depending upon a number of factors.

That’s why your first action should be to reach out to a competent law firm that can assist you with your case. In California, that firm is Colby Law Firm. We provide free and confidential consultations to employees.

Colby Law firm was started by Aaron Colby who worked for employers for fifteen years before he opened his own firm to represent employees. He brings all his knowledge of the California labor laws and how employers use those laws to their advantage to help win your case.

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your wage and hour case, you may qualify for recovering more than just the unpaid wages. Please reach out to Colby Law Firm and request a free and confidential case review. They’re here to help you.


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Colby Law Firm

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Aaron Colby is a California employment lawyer who knows how to resolve disputes. After 15 years representing companies, he started Colby Law Firm to represent employees. Aaron’s perspective and experience from being “on the other side” gives him an edge. Aaron brings his practical, focused, and relentless approach to helping employees protect their rights.

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Aaron Colby
Lead Attorney and Founder Colby Law