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Why You Need an Employment Law Attorney for Wage and Hour Claims

Updated: 3 days ago

For Wage And Hour Claims, Contact An Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles ASAP

The United States safeguards a worker's right to choose how many hours they should work and how much they should be paid. The regulations are known as wage and hour laws, and they determine how much you should be paid per hour. The minimum wage amount varies by state, and many states still have a provision on how many hours you can expect to work every day. When these rights are infringed, you might need the help of an California Employment Attorney that can help you get what you are entitled to.

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Such government rules include various minimum sums you must be charged for overtime pay, weekend pay, and holiday pay. There are some general principles that apply to wage and hour legislation that you should be aware of if you want to make sure you're getting a decent wage. Contact an Los Angeles Employment Lawyer if you or someone you know is working under circumstances that do not meet the state's minimum wage requirements. You are entitled to the compensation you have received.

Your Salary

There are rules in place to protect the minimum wage you are entitled to. These same laws specify the types of workers who are eligible for overtime pay if they require long hours. Not all employers follow these rules, some mistakenly, and if this is not fixed, civil money fines will be imposed.

The following are examples of wage breaches committed by employers:

  • Excessive deductions from salaries in place of tips

  • Paying less than the minimum wage set by the state

  • Paying a "training salary" to employees who should be getting more

  • Employees are forced to work 'off-the-clock' without pay

  • Taking money from wages paid in commodities, such as meals, for the purpose of purchasing food

  • For extra hours worked, there is no additional compensation or 'overtime' pay

The regulations are in order to safeguard you as an employee. The rules are in place to ensure that employers pay their workers fairly for the work they do.

Is it a guarantee that I will be paid at least the minimum wage?

Each state has its own set of rules for minimum wage and overtime pay. It is critical that you consider the various work types and sectors that are needed by federal legislation to determine a minimum wage level. The Federal Wage Law (FLSA) applies to these occupations and sectors, and employers must pay workers at least the Federal Minimum Wage per hour of work.

If your state's minimum wage is lower than the federal minimum wage, your employer must pay the higher rate set by the FLSA. The minimum wage in most states is set to equal the federal minimum wage; however, some states, such as Washington, D.C., have set theirs higher.

For more than eight hours of work done in one day or more than forty hours of work performed in a week, overtime pay must be charged at a rate of time-and-half. California law mandates that you be charged double pay if you work more than twelve hours a day. The California Department of Industrial Relations has more detailed details on California wage regulations.

Your Benefits

A profit is a generic term that refers to a variety of job-related advantages. Benefits are the non-cash compensation that an employee receives from their employer. Some benefits, such as Family and Medical Leave, are mandated by state and federal legislation. Employers seldom lose money by providing incentives to their workers. The cost of their employee's time away from work will be the only cost to them for providing benefits.

If your work has legal leave conditions, your boss must let you take advantage of them. Some benefits are classified as optional, and you can discuss whether or not they will be recognized as part of your worker's compensation with your boss. Family and medical leave, for example, are not optional, and you must be able to access them.

Employers will provide you with the following optional benefits as part of your job package:

  • Incapacity

  • Dental coverage is a must.

  • Pensions for employees

  • Coverage for medical expenses

  • Life insurance

If your employer provides these optional benefits, your employer must adhere to strict federal regulations, which can be very technical and complicated. Health insurance and pension programs are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. You must be given notice of the duration of the employee benefits package if you are offered one of these programs. Your employer is required by law to inform you of the following:

  • Who is qualified to participate?

  • What is the strategy?

  • What kind of incentives does the plan provide?

  • How much, if anything, would you be liable for?

  • What would the sums of payments be if you are allowed to make them?

  • When and how will the plan be modified?

If your employer has promised specific benefits but has failed to deliver, contact an Employment Attorney to ensure you are fairly compensated.

Do You Have a Right to Overtime Pay?

The regulation of overtime pay is governed by two sets of rules. Employers are expected to pay you time and a half for hours worked beyond the fixed weekly hours under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). The second set of laws varies by jurisdiction, so you should consult with yours to learn about their overtime pay policies.

There are many situations that are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act or your state's statute, and your employer is almost certainly obligated to follow at least one of them. Consult your California Employment Attorney if you are working additional hours during the workweek without being compensated for overtime wages.

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Employees that are deemed 'non-exempt are normally covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA covers non-exempt employees, and it is the employer's responsibility to compensate your overtime pay. In order to be deemed non-exempt, you must pass a three-part test:

  • If your annual salary is less than $23,600, you must pass the salary level test.

  • Non-salaried workers are included by the FLSA. You will most likely be classified as a salaried employee if the employer guarantees you a minimum wage.

The Fair Labor Standards Act exempts those in management roles from the duties test. If you have a title that classifies you as having management responsibilities, the FLSA regulations do not extend to your overtime compensation.

If you receive less than $23,600 a year as a result of the three-part exam, you are not in management and are not considered a salaried employee; the FLSA guidelines would most likely apply to you. If you are not being paid fairly for hours you work, contact an Employment Attorney for assistance in getting the pay you deserve.

Some job descriptions are not eligible for overtime pay, such as:

  • Persons who deliver newspapers

  • Contractors who work for themselves

  • Computer technicians

  • Volunteers are required

  • Employees on small farms

  • Salespeople who work outside of a company

  • Employees of amusement parks

  • Personal companions or babysitters (excluding those who provide domestic work or nursing care)

Does the Amount of Minimum Wage Paid Affect Tips?

All employees covered by federal and state wage and hour laws are usually entitled to the minimum wage. This salary is either the federal government's minimum wage or the state's minimum wage, whichever is higher.

The rules are a little more complex for jobs that require getting tips. For example, if you make more than $30 in tips per month, your employer is only required to pay you the federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. This rule only applies if the gross compensation, including salaries and tips, is equal to the minimum wage for each hour worked.

Employers in California are not allowed to cut salaries based on tips received. They demand that an employer pay a minimum wage regardless of tips received. The Department of Labor has a list of the various states' tip and wage regulations. If you believe you are being underpaid at your work because of tips, consult an Los Angeles Employment Lawyer.

Is Paid Maternity Leave a Guarantee?

Employees are covered by the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), which requires employers to offer up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. An employee's son or daughter is adopted, or a foster child is placed.

  2. Having to care for a close relative who has a serious illness, such as a parent, infant, or spouse

  3. A premature baby's birth and treatment

  4. If you've had a major health problem and are unable to work due to medical reasons

If you meet the following criteria, you may be entitled to this benefit under the Family and Medical Leave Act:

  • Working for a company that is subject to the Act

  • Worked 1,250 hours in the previous twelve months prior to the start date of the leave.

  • Work in a company that employs more than fifty people or has a second location within 75 miles that employs more people.

In addition to the FMLA rules, which enable workers to take time off after the birth of a child, several states have similar laws in effect. You can find more details on unpaid time off for delivering a baby at the Department of Labor.

Would I Lose My Job if the National Guard deploys me?

When you return from a time of service in the uniformed services, the USERRA (Uniformed Services Work and Reemployment Rights Act) covers your rights. The National Guard is included in this protection, and your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your military service or duty.

You are given the right to return to work when you return from deployment. You are entitled to the same seniority, salary, and other benefits and privileges associated with the job as a result of your reinstatement.

Employers are not required to give spouses time off if their husband or wife is serving in the National Guard. While this is not a legal necessity, many companies do allow this type of leave. Find out how the company's management can approach the situation by speaking with them. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.

Should I Receive Paid Breaks?

Employers are not mandated by federal law to have paid breaks. Under federal rules, employers that have brief breaks of five to twenty minutes may include the time in the total number of hours worked during the week. When deciding whether or not extra wages are owed, this break period will be added to the overall hours worked. If you don't feel like you're getting enough breaks, review your state's rules.

Employees who work for more than five hours have the right to a break under California labor laws. However, depending on the arrangement you have with your boss, the break conditions for each employee can be different. You might need the help of a Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles who can ensure that your employer does not infringe on your right to meal and rest breaks.

What Does a Meal Break Entail?

A meal break, according to California law, is an unpaid, uninterrupted duration of at least thirty minutes that allows workers to work on personal projects. Employers should give their workers this time off without asking them to do something.

Meal breaks, on the other hand, do not always imply that the employee must use their allotted free time to eat. They have the freedom to run personal errands during this time as long as they return to their responsibilities on time.