Injured at Work? Worker’s Compensation Sites for All 50 States!

Work_risks Injured at work? An interesting, informative site will give you a good start.  All 50 States' and D.C.'s Home Pages and Workers' Compensation Agencies.  This site has Workers' Compensation Sites for every state in the union as well as related state specific links. 

Additionally, there is a great website for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (powered by the CDC) which provides a wealth of information for the prevention of illness and injuries at work.  Literally a ton of very valuable and potentially life saving information.

lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Mario Batali Tip Scamming Lawsuit: What Are The Rules?

Photo Mar 10, 1 03 41 PM
    Wow, that's a lotta pasta! Yep, how many plates of his world famous delectable delights will Mario Batali have to sell to pay the $5.25 Million settlement? (read entire settlement agreement here – courtesy of Huffington Post).  Plenty.

What's It All About?

Flsa 001    Well, the lawsuit alleges that Batali, and his partner Joseph Bastianich, violated the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act by (1) pocketing tips owed to the staff that were equal to as much as 5 percent of nightly wine sales, (2) not paying the federal minimum wage, and (3) failing to pay overtime

Did Mario Break The Rules?

Tips 002    If the allegations are true, then, yes. Employers are not allowed to take their employee's tips for any reason.  Tips are the property of the employee.  There are certain states that allow employers to get a credit against wages owed for tips received but this is not what happened here.

Minimum wage 001    Not paying the Federal Minimum Wage?  What was he thinking?  An employer, famous or otherwise, has to pay his or her employees at least the minimum wage. It's the law!

Overtme 001    Failing to pay overtime?  This is illegal in all 50 states!

This Happened in New York

What If It Happened in California?

California labor code 001    If these things happened in California, there'd be hell to pay.  Here, employers are prohibited from crediting any portion of a tip received by an employee against the wages owed to that employee. (Labor Code Section 351).  Your boss could be on the hook for penalties, interest, attorney's fees and all sorts of grief (maybe eve punitive damages!). Don't let your boss cheat you out of what's yours!

    If you're entitled to overtime but didn't get paid overtime then, again, your boss would be in for some well-deserved grief. Take a look at Department of Industrial Relations on Overtime

    If you're in California and don't get paid minimum wage, you've been illegally taken advantage of and need to speak with a lawyer.  Period.  Here, take a look at the United States Department of Labor's Discussion on Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws

Questions About Your Overtime, Meal Breaks, Tips, Minimum Wages?

Call California Attorney Lowell Steiger Directly

(877) 487-8221 or (323) 852-1100

Your Consultation is Free

 

Are You Getting An Itemized Wage Statement?

Time clock 001 old shoe woman    You have to follow rules at work, right?  Well your boss has to follow rules, too.  This post is all about the itemized statement that you are legally entitled to get with your payroll check (or cash payment) and the penalties that your boss may have to pay to you for failure to follow these rules.   

    California Law Code Section 226 requires your boss (and by “boss” I mean an individual employer or a huge company) to give you an itemized written statement every two months or at the time of each wage payment.  This applies whether you’re being paid by check OR cash!

Here's A List Of What MUST Be On Your Wage Statement

Pay stub 001

  1. Gross wages earned
  2. Total hours worked (unless you're a salaried employee who is exempt from state overtime rules)
  3. Number of piece-rate units earned and the applicable piece rate(s) if you are paid on a piece-rate basis
  4. All deductions
  5. Net wages earned
  6. Dates for which you are being paid ("beginning" and "ending" dates)
  7. Your name and the last for digits of your Social Security number OR your employee ID number
  8. Name and address of the legal entity that is your employer
  9. All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate

Payments in Cash Are Okay But…

Cash 001
    Yes, it is legal for your boss to pay you in cash.  However, your boss still must you with an itemized statement (as described above).

    Not only that, your boss must keep the records of those deductions, IN INK (or some other indelible form) for a minimum of three (3) years!  These records have to be dated (month, day, year) and be kept at your boss's location or some central location within the Great State of California and must be made available to you upon reasonable request (but beware! they can actually charge you the copying costs).

Residential Dwelling Exception

    If you're working for someone in their home performing things like child-care services or personal duties unrelated to your boss's business, trade, profession or occupation, then they do not have to give you an itemized wage statement.

Government Employees

Government 001 radio rover    If you work for the government (state, city, county, city and county, district) your governmental boss can provide you with an itemized statement either in writing or electronically.

 

Union Employees

    Don't let anyone tell you that just because you're in a union you're not entitled to get an itemized wage statement.  Au contraire mon ami.  Union and nonunion employers alike must provide you with an itemized statement.  This rule is NOT waivable even under collective bargaining agreements.

Up To $4,000 In Penalties (plus Attorney's Fees)

If Your Boss Breaks the Rules

 
   If your boss knowingly and intentionally fails to follow these rules, then he or she or it may be liable to pay a penalty to you (minimum $50 per violation but it could go much, much higher — up to $4,000).  They may also have to pay your costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Boss 001 proyecto garaje  Penalty 002 Gwensel Piaser

      In addition to what your boss might owe you, they may also be assessed an additional civil penalty of $250 per employee for the each violation in the first citation and up to $1,000 per employee for each violation in subsequent violations.  Labor Code Section 226.3

If you, or someone you know, have been a victim (or suspect you have been a victim) of

Wage & Hour Abuse

Please call or e-mail me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or lowell@steigerlaw.com

Employer Ripping You Off? There’s an iPhone App For That!

App store Great news everyone! The Department of Labor is aggressively assisting employees in their quest for justice — i.e. not getting ripped off by their employers who brazenly cheat them out of their earned wages and overtime.  See the press release below which, in sum, describes the new iPhone App created by the Department of Labor for YOU!

Click the App Store Button on your iPhone or iPad and search "Department of Labor"and the "DOL – Timesheet" will appear.  Download it and call or e-mail me if you've got questions, concerns or are finding that you're a victim of Wage & Hour Violations.

Department of Labor Press Release

DOL iPhone AppWASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the launch of its first application for smartphones, a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. Glossary, contact information and materials about wage laws are easily accessible through links to the Web pages of the department's Wage and Hour Division.

Additionally, through the app, users will be able to add comments on any information related to their work hours; view a summary of work hours in a daily, weekly and monthly format; and email the summary of work hours and gross pay as an attachment.

This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers' records, workers now can keep their own records. This information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records.

"I am pleased that my department is able to leverage increasingly popular and available technology to ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay."

The free app is currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Labor Department will explore updates that could enable similar versions for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry, and other pay features not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.

For workers without a smartphone, the Wage and Hour Division has a printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers' rights and how to file a wage violation complaint.

Both the app and the calendar can be downloaded from the Wage and Hour Division's home Web page at http://www.dol.gov/whd. For more information about federal wage laws or to order a calendar by mail, call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

Related Stories

Boss Ripping You Off? Call For a Free Consultation

 

Workers’ Compensation? Personal Injury? or Both? Maximize Your Compensation

  

    Through California's Worker's Compensation Laws injured employees are able to recover from the limited benefits of their employer's insurance.  But what happens in cases where an employee has sustained an on-the-job injury caused by someone other than the employer? Simply put, in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee may sue this third party (i.e., other person or entity) in tort law. Third party cases may fall into categories such as traffic accidents, slip & fall incidents, defective products, defective equipment or the exposure to toxic substances and any number of other situations.

    If a worker suffers a significant injury, it is highly probable that they will not receive sufficient funds from a workers' compensation claim because workers’ compensation claims are not based upon fault whereas tort claims are based on fault and include monetary compensation for pain and suffering.  Therefore, pursuing claims against a negligent third party is critical to ensure maximum compensation for injuries or death.

           Every on-the-job injury should be evaluated by an experienced attorney to determine if a third party claim exists.

    The personal injury component of a workers’ compensation claim is oftentimes overlooked.  Here are just a few examples of such cases that my office has successfully handled (all clients were on-the-job but we also sued a third party on their behalf):

  •        Male bus driver rear-ended by automobile.  He suffered a knee injury which required arthroscopic surgery. Significant confidential settlement.
  •        Female building maintenance person who slipped due to wet carpets when exiting the elevator of her office building.  At the time of the incident, a carpet cleaning company (third party) was cleaning the carpet and failed to post signs warning of the dangerous condition.  Serious knee injuries. Large 6-figure settlement against the carpet cleaning company.
  •        U.S. Postal Worker who was in Los Angeles on business suffered severe burns to his left foot due to the hotel’s providing scalding hot water to the shower.  The client almost lost his leg due to complications.  Significant settlement against the hotel.
  •        Male law firm investigator was rear-ended while in the field. He suffered injuries sufficient to require him to undergo neck and back surgeries. Policy limit settlement against the driver of the offending vehicle.
  •        Female Cal-Trans worker was in a lift changing a street light when an the top of an 18-wheeler grazed the bottom of her bucket, throwing her several feet out of the bucket. She hung in the air by her safety belts.  The worker suffered severe physical and emotional injuries as a result. Significant 6-figure settlement against the trucking company.

    The attorney handling the third party portion of the claim must work closely with the workers’ compensation attorney as well as with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier because of the unique legal issues presented in these situations.

    If you have suffered a work related injury and have reason to believe that a third-party may bear some liability, please call or e-mail me to discuss your legal rights.

Attorney General Brown Wins Back Pay for 200+ Construction Workers!

Overtime-latino BAKERSFIELD – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that his
office has secured back pay for more than 200 workers who were "routinely
denied" fair wages and overtime pay by Charles Evleth Construction, Inc., a
Bakersfield-based drywall company.

"To boost its profits and underbid
competitors, Charles Evleth Construction routinely denied its hardworking
employees a fair wage and overtime pay," Brown said. "Today's judgment secures
back pay for more than 200 employees and prohibits this company from violating
workers' rights."

In addition to providing back wages for more than 200
construction workers, today's settlement prohibits Charles Evleth Construction
from:

– Denying fair wages and overtime pay for workers;
– Paying
employees in cash to avoid state and federal taxes; and
– Permitting
supervisors to take kickbacks from their employees' paychecks.

Today's
settlement follows a January 2009 suit Brown filed in Kern County Superior Court
against Charles Evleth Construction to recover unpaid wages for workers who were
denied full paychecks and overtime pay.

Read entire lawsuit here

Read entire settlement agreement here

Brown's office initiated its
investigation in late 2008 and found nearly 1,200 violations of California law.
In addition to wage violations, the investigation found that the company had
failed to pay unemployment insurance, make state disability fund payments and
pay state and federal taxes.

These practices allowed the company to gain
an unfair advantage over its competitors and underbid them for construction
jobs.

In the complaint filed in January 2009, Evleth was sued for
violations of:

California Labor Code section 510 for denying overtime
pay;
California Labor Code section 226 for failing to provide itemized
statements detailing rate of pay, hours worked, deductions and pay period;

California Labor Code section 1197 for failing to pay minimum wage;

California Industrial Welfare Commission 16 (8)(b)) for requiring
workers to bring their own tools without paying at least twice the minimum wage;

California Labor Code section 221 and 223 for allowing supervisors to take
kickbacks in exchange for being allowed to work; and,
– California Labor
Code section 221 and 223 for allowing employees to split paychecks in cash.

Worker's Story

Juan Manuel Avalos of Bakersfield worked for
Charles Evleth Construction for five months in 2005. Avalos was hired with a
verbal agreement to work five days a week for $750 per week in pay. However,
when Avalos started, he was required to work six days a week and often worked
12-hour shifts without overtime pay. Avalos was paid in cash every week, but
discovered two months into the job that a site supervisor had been cashing his
paychecks and taking up to $500 every week from his pay, leaving Avalos what
remained in cash.

Last month, Brown filed two other lawsuits against
companies that failed to pay workers and subjected employees to potentially
dangerous workplace conditions, including:

A lawsuit filed March 10
against Juan Munoz
, a farm labor contractor in Southern California, for failing
to provide rest breaks, potable drinking water or shade to field workers.


A lawsuit filed March 3 against Livermore-based Country Builders after the
company falsified payroll records to hide underpayments, deliberately
misclassified workers to reduce the company's workers' compensation premiums and
violated state prevailing wage laws.

If you, or someone you know, have been a victim (or suspect you have been a victim) of

Wage & Hour Abuse

Please call or e-mail me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or lowell@steigerlaw.com

California Wage and Hour Violations – Does Your Boss Owe You Back Pay?

Boss_with_cigar_2

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Answers to Questions About Your Wage & Hour Rights

Do you wonder if you have a claim against your employer for failure to pay you proper wages?  The
Law Offices of Lowell Steiger and the Law Offices of Steven Waisbren
would like to provide answers to some of the more common questions, and
we are happy to discuss your particular situation at your convenience.

Question

What is the general rule about payment of overtime wages?

Answer

Under California law, a “nonexempt” employee
18 years of age or older shall not be employed more than eight hours in
any workday, or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives 1½
times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight
hours in any workday, over 40 hours in the workweek, or more than six
days in any workweek.

An
employee is entitled to double his or her regular rate of pay if he or
she works in excess of 12 hours in any workday, and for all hours
worked in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work
in a workweek.

Question

What is an exempt employee?

Answer

An exempt employee is one to which the overtime wage protections under the California Labor Code do not apply.  If an employee is truly exempt, they are not entitled to overtime wages, regardless of the number of hours he or she works.

Question

How do I know if I am an exempt or nonexempt employee?

Answer

There are a number of exemptions which exist, and may apply to your particular situation.  For the most part, these would include the administrative exemption, executive exemption, and the professional exemption.  Generally,
the existence of these exemptions depends upon numerous factors,
including the amount of independent judgment and discretion given to
the employee on significant matters, the extent of
supervisory or managerial duties the employee performs, and, most
importantly, whether the employee performs exempt duties more than 50%
of the time.  Of course, there are a number of other considerations which must be analyzed.

A
determination of your exemption classification should be made only
after consultation with an attorney since there are many reasons that
an employee may be nonexempt under the law .

Question

What if my employer has classified me as an exempt employee?  Am I bound by that classification?

Answer

Absolutely not!!  Many
employers will misclassify employees either mistakenly, or in an effort
to avoid paying the employee overtime wages to which he or she is
entitled.  Don’t assume that your classification is correct.  You may be entitled to many years of back wages, interest, and other damages.

Question

Can I be fired for making a claim for overtime wages?

Answer

No.  California law specifically prohibits an employer from doing so.


Interesting Facts About Wage & Hour Claims


·     An
employer is obligated to pay you overtime even if the overtime hours
were not authorized. The employer can discipline you for working
unauthorized overtime hours, but the employer must still pay overtime
wages for those hours.

·     Discretionary
bonuses or monies paid as gifts on holidays are generally not included
for purposes of determining the employee’s regular rate of pay.  Therefore, such bonuses are not computed in the calculation of overtime wages.

·     Even
if an employee is paid a salary, they are still entitled to overtime
wages as long as they are not exempt (See discussion in Q & A
section).

·     As long as overtime wages are paid, an employer may require an employee to work overtime hours.  The  employee may be disciplined for refusing to do so.

·          Any agreement signed by an employee to waive entitlement to overtime wages is not enforceable.  The employer is still obligated to pay overtime.

·          The burden of proving that an employee is “exempt” is on the employer.  The worker is always presumed to be entitled to overtime compensation.

The Law Offices of Lowell Steiger Has Expanded Its Practice 

to Represent You for Your Wage and Hour Claims


    The Law Offices of Lowell Steiger, working in association with the Law
Offices of Steven Waisbren, is happy to provide you with a free
consultation, including a full analysis of your entitlement to overtime
wages, minimum wages, and other back pay and damages.  Give us a call, and we will set up an appointment for you to meet with one of our qualified and experienced attorneys.

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If
you, or someone you know, have been a victim (or suspect you have been
a victim) of Wage & Hour Abuse, please call me immediately at (323)
852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at
lowell@steigerlaw.com

Denial of Proper Overtime Pay: A Real Problem With a Real Solution

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Denial of Proper Pay for Employees is Rampant

THE PROBLEM  

     With
the economy on a persistent downturn, and the business community
feeling the impact, employees are increasingly being denied proper
compensation for the work they perform.  This
either arises because employers mistakenly believe that their employees
are not entitled to compensation guaranteed by the California Labor Code or mislead their employees with respect to such entitlement.

      Unfortunately,
most employees are unaware that they were, or are, entitled to
additional compensation under California law until either well into
their employment, or until after their employment has ended.  California
law provides employees with considerable remedies, and subjects
employers to substantial liability for violating state law. Denial of
proper compensation gives rise to possible legal action against the
employer, and potential damages include back pay for overtime, minimum
wages, meal and rest breaks, interest, penalties, and attorney’s fees.

THE MISCONCEPTION

      Many
workers are uninformed about their rights to compensation as an
employee, thereby giving employers the opportunity to take advantage.  For
example, while the concept of minimum wage is generally understood,
most employees assume that if they are a manager or supervisor, they
are “exempt” employees not entitled to overtime compensation.  Oftentimes, this is not true.  In fact, the employee’s job title is irrelevant.  A
“manager” may still be entitled to overtime compensation, as well as
other damages, against an employer, regardless of contrary information
provided by the employer, and regardless of the specific job
designation or title given to the employee.

THE SOLUTION

      If
you have worked overtime hours, or been paid less than the minimum wage
required by state law, you should consult an attorney to determine your
rights.  Even if you believe that you are not entitled to overtime compensation, or other  wages, an attorney can provide you with a detailed analysis, and advise you whether such a claim is viable.

Interesting Facts About Wage & Hour Claims –

·    An employee who prevails in a wage and hour claim can claim attorney’s fees as part of his or her damages.  However, the employer cannot.

·    A worker’s job title (i.e., “manager”) means nothing as to whether overtime compensation is due.  The true test is the actual duties performed by the worker.

·    A worker who is classified as an independent contractor may still be eligible for overtime compensation and other benefits.

·    A worker who receives a salary may still be entitled to payment of overtime compensation.

·    To
prove an overtime claim, a worker does not need any supporting
documentation; only his or her testimony showing a “reasonable
estimate” of the number of hours worked.

·    The burden of proving that an employee is “exempt” is on the employer.  The worker is always presumed to be entitled to overtime compensation.

The Law Offices of Lowell Steiger Has Expanded its Practice To Include Wage & Hour Claims

      Due to the increased incidence of improper payment  of
overtime and minimum wages, the Law Offices of Lowell Steiger and the
Law Offices of Steven D. Waisbren are proud to announce their
association to represent the rights of California workers to be paid
proper compensation under the Labor Code.    We
are happy to provide you with a free consultation, including a full
analysis of your entitlement to overtime wages, minimum wages, and
other back pay and damages. 

Follow me on Twitter

If
you, or someone you know, have been a victim (or suspect you have been
a victim) of Wage & Hour Abuse, please call me immediately at (323)
852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at
lowell@steigerlaw.com

Time Off to Vote: A State by State Guide

Time Off to Vote

Must your employer give you time off to vote?  See the chart below for a state by state analysis!

State Time Allowed to Vote Paid or Unpaid Applicable Statute
Alabama The necessary time off shall not exceed one hour and if the hours of work of the employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least one hour prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided in this section shall not be available. Unspecified 2006 Alabama Laws Act 2006-545 (H.B. 141)
Alaska Sufficient time to vote, unless the employee has two consecutive hours in which to vote, either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee's regular working shift, or between the end of the regular working shift and the closing of the polls. Paid Alaska Statutes § 15.15.100
Arizona Three hours, unless polls are open three hours before or after shift. Paid Arizona Revised Statutes §16-402
Arkansas Employer shall schedule sufficient time on election days so that employees may vote. Unspecified Arkansas Code § 7-1-102
California Two hours at the beginning or end of the regular working shift. Paid California Election Code § 14000
Colorado Two hours unless polls are open three hours before or after regular working shift. Paid Colorado Revised Statutes §1-7-102
Connecticut None
Delaware None
Georgia Two hours unless polls are open two hours before or after regular working shift Unspecified Georgia Code §21-2-404
Florida None
Hawaii Two hours, unless polls are open two consecutive non-working hours. Paid, with proof that vote is cast Hawaii Revised Statutes §11-95
Idaho None
Illinois Two hours. Unpaid 10 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/17-15
Indiana None
Iowa Three hours, unless employee has 3 consecutive hours non-work time when polls are open. Paid Iowa Code Annotated § 49.109
Kansas Up to two hours. Paid Kansas Statutes Annotated §25-418
Kentucky Up to four hours. Unpaid Kentucky Revised Statutes § 118.035
Louisiana None
Maine None
Maryland Employees who do not otherwise have two hours of continuous off-duty time when the polls are open may take up to two hours of leave to vote. Paid with proof of voting Maryland Code, Election Law, § 10-315
Massachusetts Voters employed in mechanical, manufacturing or mercantile businesses allowed time off during the first two hours after the polls have opened only if an application for absence has been submitted. Unspecified Massachusetts General Laws Annotated 149 § 178
Michigan None
Minnesota Employees are allowed to take time off during the mornings of election days. Paid Minnesota Statutes Annotated  § 204C.04
Mississippi None
Missouri Employees may take up to three hours off to vote on Election Day during the times the polls are open if a request for time is made prior to Election Day and the polls are not open for three successive hours when the employee is not at work. The employer may specify any three hours when the polls are open during which employees may take time off to vote. Paid Vernon's Annotated Missouri Statutes 115.639
Montana None
Nebraska Employees are entitled to up to two hours to vote if the employee does not have two consecutive non-work hours to vote while the polls are open. The employee must request time off to vote prior to the Election Day, and the employer may specify when during the working day employees may take time off. Paid Nebraska Revised Statutes § 32-922
Nevada Employees are allowed one to three hours on election days to vote if they do not have "sufficient" free time outside working hours, depending on the distance between work and the polling site. Employees must apply for time prior to Election Day. Employers may designate the specific time employees may take. Paid Nevada Revised Statues 293.463
New Hampshire None
New Jersey None
New Mexico Employees may have up to two hours, unless they have two free hours before work or three free hours after work while the polls are open. The employer may designate the hours to be taken, but it may not include lunch or rest hours. Paid New Mexico Statutes § 1-12-42
New York Employees are allowed to take "sufficient time" on Election Day as is necessary to allow them to vote, if four consecutive non-working hours are not available while the polls are open. Employers may designate whether the time is to be taken at the beginning or end of the shift.  Employees must notify employers of the need for time off not more than 10 days and not less than 2 days before the election. Employers must post a conspicuous notice of employee rights at least ten days before Election Day.  Paid up to two hours McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York § 3-110
North Carolina None
North Dakota The law encourages employers to provide time off to vote when an employee's regular work schedule conflicts with the times polls are open. NOTE: The recommended policy is voluntary. Unspecified N.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-01-02.1
Ohio Employers are prohibited from firing an employee who takes a reasonable amount of time to vote. Paid for salaried employees. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3599.06
Oklahoma Every employer must allow its registered voters up to two hours off to vote on Election Day, during the time when the polls are open. Paid Okla. Stat. Ann. § 26-7-101
Oregon None
Pennsylvania None
Rhode Island None
South Carolina None
South Dakota Employees are entitled to be absent from work on Election Day between the time the polls open and when they close, if the person does not have a period of two consecutive hours during the time the polls are open in which he or she is not required to be at work. Paid S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 12-3-5
Tennessee An employee may be absent for a reasonable time, not to exceed three hours, without penalty to vote during the time the polls are open in the county where the employee resides. If the tour of duty of an employee begins three or more hours after the opening of the polls or ends three or more hours before the closing of the polls of the county where the employee is a resident, the employee may not take time off under this section. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent. Application for such absence shall be made to the employer before noon of the day before the election. Paid Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-1-106
Texas Unless the polls are open for voting for two consecutive hours outside of the employee’s working hours, employers must give employees leave to vote without penalty. Paid Tex. Code Ann. Election  Code § 276.004
Utah Employers must provide employees up to two hours off between the time the polls open and when they close, unless the employee has at least three non-working hours during the time the polls are open. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent. Paid Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-103
Vermont None
Virginia None
Washington Employers are required to arrange employee work time on the day of an election so that each employee has a reasonable amount of time available for voting if the employee would not otherwise have two hours free (not including meal or rest breaks) to vote while the polls are open. Paid RCWA 49.28.120
West Virginia Maximum of three hours time off to vote must be granted upon written demand made at least three days prior to Election Day. Paid W.Va. Code § 3-1-42
Wisconsin An employee is permitted time off to vote for a period not to exceed three successive hours while the polls are open. The employee must notify the employer before Election Day of the intended absence. The employer may designate the time of day for the absence. Unpaid Wis. Stat. § 6.76(1)
Wyoming At the employee's convenience, the employee may take one hour between the opening and closing of polls to vote. Paid Wyo. Stat. § 22-2-111
Washington, D.C. None

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at (323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

California Wage and Hour Violations – Does Your Boss Owe You Back Pay?

Boss_with_cigar_2

Answers to Questions About Your Wage & Hour Rights

Do you wonder if you have a claim against your employer for failure to pay you proper wages?  The Law Offices of Lowell Steiger and the Law Offices of Steven Waisbren would like to provide answers to some of the more common questions, and we are happy to discuss your particular situation at your convenience.

Question

What is the general rule about payment of overtime wages?

Answer

Under California law, a “nonexempt” employee 18 years of age or older shall not be employed more than eight hours in any workday, or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives 1½ times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in any workday, over 40 hours in the workweek, or more than six days in any workweek.

An employee is entitled to double his or her regular rate of pay if he or she works in excess of 12 hours in any workday, and for all hours worked in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Question

What is an exempt employee?

Answer

An exempt employee is one to which the overtime wage protections under the California Labor Code do not apply.  If an employee is truly exempt, they are not entitled to overtime wages, regardless of the number of hours he or she works.

Question

How do I know if I am an exempt or nonexempt employee?

Answer

There are a number of exemptions which exist, and may apply to your particular situation.  For the most part, these would include the administrative exemption, executive exemption, and the professional exemption.  Generally, the existence of these exemptions depends upon numerous factors, including the amount of independent judgment and discretion given to the employee on significant matters, the extent of supervisory or managerial duties the employee performs, and, most importantly, whether the employee performs exempt duties more than 50% of the time.  Of course, there are a number of other considerations which must be analyzed.

A determination of your exemption classification should be made only after consultation with an attorney since there are many reasons that an employee may be nonexempt under the law .

Question

What if my employer has classified me as an exempt employee?  Am I bound by that classification?

Answer

Absolutely not!!  Many employers will misclassify employees either mistakenly, or in an effort to avoid paying the employee overtime wages to which he or she is entitled.  Don’t assume that your classification is correct.  You may be entitled to many years of back wages, interest, and other damages.

Question

Can I be fired for making a claim for overtime wages?

Answer

No.  California law specifically prohibits an employer from doing so.

Interesting Facts About Wage & Hour Claims

·     An employer is obligated to pay you overtime even if the overtime hours were not authorized. The employer can discipline you for working unauthorized overtime hours, but the employer must still pay overtime wages for those hours.

·     Discretionary bonuses or monies paid as gifts on holidays are generally not included for purposes of determining the employee’s regular rate of pay.  Therefore, such bonuses are not computed in the calculation of overtime wages.

·     Even if an employee is paid a salary, they are still entitled to overtime wages as long as they are not exempt (See discussion in Q & A section).

·     As long as overtime wages are paid, an employer may require an employee to work overtime hours.  The  employee may be disciplined for refusing to do so.

·          Any agreement signed by an employee to waive entitlement to overtime wages is not enforceable.  The employer is still obligated to pay overtime.

·          The burden of proving that an employee is “exempt” is on the employer.  The worker is always presumed to be entitled to overtime compensation.

Prior Wage & Hour Posts of Interest

The Law Offices of Lowell Steiger Has Expanded Its Practice 

to Represent You for Your Wage and Hour Claims

         The Law Offices of Lowell Steiger, working in association with the Law Offices of Steven Waisbren, is happy to provide you with a free consultation, including a full analysis of your entitlement to overtime wages, minimum wages, and other back pay and damages.  Give us a call, and we will set up an appointment for you to meet with one of our qualified and experienced attorneys.

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If you, or someone you know, have been a victim (or suspect you have been a victim) of Wage & Hour Abuse, please call me immediately at (323) 852-1100 or send me an e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

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