Is Your Employer Refusing to Pay You? We can help.
If you believe that you have been unfairly treated by your employer in regards to unpaid overtime, a refusal to pay minimum wage, unpaid wages for overtime pay, or wrongful termination due to requesting fulfillment of an unpaid wage, you should seek a Los Angeles employment attorney.
Colby Law Firm is here to help you through this difficult time. You’ll need the right law firm with a vast knowledge of employment law and hour laws to help you address any wage theft you have been subjected to.
Our seasoned law practitioners are well versed in all aspects of employment law, including overtime wage, overtime pay, California wage law, overtime law, overtime compensation, and California labor law. We’ll dedicate our time to pouring over your employment contract, whether you’re an independent contractor, part-time, or full-time employee.
If you need help recovering lost overtime wages, you need an unpaid overtime attorney in Los Angeles you can trust. You need Colby Law Firm.
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What Are Your Rights for Overtime Pay in California?
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.
California Employers Cannot Require You to Work Off-the-Clock
It is illegal for California employers to ask employees to work off the clock. Employers must track all time worked by hourly employees, including overtime hours, and pay the appropriate rate for all time worked.
Common situations of illegal off-the-clock work are:
● Reviewing or responding to emails from a mobile device or after hours.
● Post-shift work completing tasks like clean-ups and dropping off equipment by heading to another site.
● Working during breaks, such as carrying on with work during a meal or rest break.
● Work performed remotely or away from the worksite without a time clock system.
● Going through pre- or post-shift security checks.
● Preparing, such as warming up or loading trucks, planning a worksite, setting up a restaurant prior to a shift, and transferring equipment from one place to another.
● Putting on and removing work equipment before and after shifts (donning and doffing).
● Administrative work like preparing medical charts or completing paperwork after hours without pay.
● Traveling during work or on work-related errands to and from work.
● Correcting errors or redoing a project.
● Having to check in to report to work (on-call time).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Employers Round My Time?
Employers can round your hours worked, but this is subject to certain limits. Rounding policies designed to systematically under-compensate employees are illegal. Rounding policies cannot consistently result in a failure to pay employees for their time worked.
Rounding is the practice of adjusting an employee’s hours worked, either up or down, to the nearest increment of a certain amount to make it easier when calculating their hours worked and more efficient for accounting purposes. Employers may round to the nearest five minutes, six minutes, or quarter-hour for purposes of calculating the number of hours worked. Rounding policies must be fair and neutral and applied in a way that, on average, does not favor underpayment.
Beyond this, employers must keep accurate records and provide regular wage statements that correctly state the total hours worked by the employee. Employers must keep time records showing the daily hours and wages paid.
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.
Are on-call hours considered hours worked California?
Employees are sometimes entitled to compensation for hours spent “on-call.” An employee is considered on-call and must be paid for the time if the employer can call them into work on a short notice. The degree of control that the employer exercises over the employee while the employee is not working will usually determine whether the employer must pay for the time.
If the employee is completely free to engage in personal activities while on-call, the employee is not subject to the employer’s control and is thus not entitled to compensation. But if the employee has no opportunity to engage in personal activities while waiting to be called into work, the employee is subject to the employer’s control and is entitled to compensation. Factors examined to determine if on-call time must be paid include:
● Whether the employer imposes an on-site living requirement.
● Limits on the distance from the employer the employee is realistically free to travel while on-call. Whether the employee is free to trade on-call duties with other employees.
● How much time the employee is given to report after being called in to work.The frequency with which the employee is called in to work.
● Whether the employee actually engages in personal activities while on-call.
Is travel time considered work time in California?
Most travel time is considered work time and is paid. However, commute time – i.e., travel from home to work and back – is usually not paid.
If traveling to work on employer-provided transportation is mandatory, however, commuting time will be considered “hours worked” and the employee is entitled to compensation, including overtime if applicable, for those hours. Time spent traveling from home to a job site might also count as “hours worked” if the job site is distant from the place where the employee usually works and the travel is necessary to carry out a special assignment. For an hourly employee driving a company vehicle on their commute asked to deliver tools and equipment to a worksite, the commute time may be compensable.
Is it illegal to not get paid for training in California?
Yes, you should receive pay for all training and education required by the employer.
Attendance at employee meetings, employer-sponsored training programs, lectures, work courses or meetings is not deemed voluntary if required by the employer or if the employee is led to believe that their non-attendance would adversely affect their current working conditions or continued employment. Training is directly related to the employee’s job if it aids him/her in performing the present job more effectively, as distinguished from training for another or a higher labor skill. Employers must pay for time employees spend at lectures, work courses, employer-sponsored training programs or employee meetings, as it counts as hours worked for pay purposes unless:
● Time is outside of normal working hours.
● Coursework is unrelated to the employee’s regular job, such as learning the requirement of a new or higher-rated job.
● Attendance is strictly voluntary (except for continuing education training).
● No productive work is performed.
Can an employer take away commission in California?
No, an employer cannot take away your commission as earned commissions are the equivalent to earned wages under the Labor Code.
Can a company decide not to pay my bonus?
Earned bonuses and commissions are generally considered wages in California and an employer cannot take them away. The promise of a bonus payment becomes a binding as a unilateral contract when the employee begins performance, and cannot then be revoked by the employer. Even bonuses labeled as “discretionary” can turn into an implied contract to pay a bonus, and that the regular payment of a bonus in past years based on objective criteria may ripen into an implied contract for compensation.