In California, an employee is entitled to be paid for all hours worked. The term “hours worked” means the time during which an employee is subject to the control of any employer, and includes all of the time the employee is “suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.” “Suffered” essentially means “required.” “Permitted” means the employer knows you are working off-the-clock, and doesn’t do anything to stop you from working. If you are not being paid for work you perform “off the clock,” contact our office to discuss your potential wage claim.
A piece rate employee is someone who is paid on a “per job” basis. Automobile mechanics are generally paid in this manner or under a “flag rate” system. Under a flag rate system, a worker is paid by the type of job they do, rather than the number of hours they actually work. Therefore an auto mechanic who fixes a person’s transmission would be paid by the job type, regardless of the number of hours it takes them to complete the job. Employers often think that paying their employee in this matter alleviates their obligation to pay the employee overtime. That is simply not the case.
Many employers believe that simply paying a worker a “salary” allows the employer to avoid paying overtime. This is simply not true. In California, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to avoid paying an employee overtime. Simply paying an employee a “salary” is not enough. Even if you are making $50,000 a year or more in salary, you still may be entitled to overtime. If you are a salaried worker who thinks you may be entitled to overtime, contact our office to discuss your potential claims.
Many employers believe that simply paying a worker on a commissioned basis allows the employer to avoid paying overtime. This is not the case. Much like salaried workers, there are specific criteria that must be met in order for an employer to avoid paying commissioned employees overtime. Further, there may also be minimum wage requirements that are not being met if you are paid on a commissioned basis. If you are paid on a commission basis and think you may have an overtime or minimum wage claim, contact our office to discuss your potential claim.
Does your employer require you to supply your own tools, such as a computer or machinery? If so, you may have a claim against your employer to recover the costs of these tools. Contact our office today to discuss your potential claim.
Employers often misclassify their workers as independent contractors, when the worker is truly an employee. Employers do this for a variety of reasons: to avoid the hassles of payroll, to avoid paying for employee expenses, to avoid paying overtime, or because they are simply misinformed on the law. California law affords many more protections to employees than it does independent contractors, including many wage and hour protections. There are a variety of factors used to determine if you are an independent contractor or if you are an employee, including how much control an employer has over its workers. If you think that you may be misclassified as an independent contractor and think you may be entitled to overtime, unpaid wages, or unpaid business expenses, please contact us today to discuss your potential claims.
Does your employer require you to incur business expenses on their behalf? Does your employer make you pay for hotel rooms or airfare when you travel on their behalf? Does your employer require you to drive your personal vehicle around town for their benefit? If so, California law requires employers to reimburse their employees for these expenses in most cases. If your employer requires you to incur business expenses on its behalf, and fails to reimburse you for these expenses, contact our office to discuss your potential claims.
Does your employer encourage you to work through your lunch break? Does your employer request that you answer phones, tend to patrons, or work on your computer during your lunch hour? If so, you may have a claim against your employer for unpaid meal breaks.