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Wage and Hour Claims

As an employee in California, you have rights. One very important right is the right to wages and hours. At a minimum, employers must pay their employees the minimum wage established by law. An employer must pay employees for all hours worked. Employers must pay hourly employees overtime for overtime hours worked. Employers must classify their employees properly in terms of whether they are hourly, salary, or contract. Employers must comply with the law to ensure employees are protected and paid properly.

More ways than one exists to violate an employee's right to wages and hours. At The Sentinel Firm, our employment lawyers in Los Angeles can help you identify and resolve a wage and hour violation. Contact us at 213-985-1150 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can make sure you are paid what you are owed and compensated accordingly for any additional damages. 

Protections for Employee Wages and Hours

There are a number of federal and state laws that provide protections for employees to prevent wage and hour violations, also referred to as wage theft. Key protections are found in federal law with state law often providing the same, if not better, protections.

Minimum Wage Laws

Effective January 1, 2023,the minimum wage in California is $15.50 per hour for all employers regardless of size. Some cities and counties have higher minimum wages than the state's rate. 

Overtime Pay Laws

Under California law, non-exempt employees are entitled to receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their standard pay rate for any hours worked exceeding 8 in a day or 40 in a week. Double pay is required for any hours worked over 12 in a single day.

Unpaid or Denied Breaks

California law mandates that employees should receive a 30-minute meal break if they work more than 5 hours, and a 10-minute paid rest break for every 4 hours worked. If an employer denies these breaks, or does not compensate you for them, you may have a claim.

Timekeeping Requirements

Employers are required to keep accurate records of all hours worked by their employees. This includes both regular and overtime hours, as well as any meal and rest breaks taken. Employees should also be able to access their own records of hours worked.

Off-the-Clock Work

If you're asked to perform job-related duties without pay outside of your scheduled hours, it's considered off-the-clock work and is illegal under California law.

Classification Rules

Some employers might misclassify employees as independent contractors or exempt employees to avoid paying overtime or providing benefits. This misclassification is a violation of your rights.

Protections for Tipped Employees

Employers must ensure that employees who receive tips are paid at least the minimum wage. Tips cannot be used to offset the employer's minimum wage obligations.

Unlawful Deductions

Employers are not allowed to make unlawful deductions from your wages. This includes deductions for cash shortages, breakages, or losses; an employer cannot deduct these costs from your earned wages.

Retaliation Protections

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file wage and hour claims or raise concerns about violations.

Pursuing a Wage and Hour Claim

If you've experienced any of these violations, you could be entitled to compensation. The process involves filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner's Office or filing a lawsuit against your employer. It's crucial to document any evidence related to your claim, including pay stubs, time records, or any communication with your employer regarding the issue.

However, the process can be complex and intimidating without the right legal support. As an experienced California employment law firm, The Sentinel Firm can provide the professional guidance you need to navigate the legal landscape and advocate for your rights.

We rely on our employers to pay us what we are owed. We depend on our wages so we can pay for all of life's expenses. When denied what is ours, we must fight back to ensure our rights are upheld. If you believe you are a victim of wage theft, contact The Sentinel Firm, and our employment law lawyer in California will provide smart legal guidance on the matter. 

At The Sentinel Firm, we can be with you at the start of step one, so that when you meet with your employer, you understand your rights and are prepared. In fact, at any step of the process, we will be there to guide you and advocate your interests. Contact us today by filling out the online form or calling us at 213-985-1150 to schedule a free consultation.

Don't let wage and hour violations go unchallenged. Your rights are worth fighting for, and we're here to fight for you.

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The Sentinel Firm is committed to answering your questions about Employment Law and Personal Injury law issues in California. We offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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