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

 

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

 

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

Follow me on Twitter

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.

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

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

Follow me on Twitter

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

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.

***************************************************************************************************************************

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

***************************************************************************************************************************

Boss Can’t Make You Lie About Your Hours!

Leona_helmsleyIs your boss a Leona Helmsley type?  Hopefully not BUT, as hard as it may be to believe, some employers take advantage of, and abuse, their employees in a myriad of ways.  One way is by making them sign a release that states that they have been paid all of their owed wages and/or taken all of the breaks to which they are entitled before they will agree to pay them!!!  How angry does this make you?  Well, apparently it got Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attention and he has attempted to right this egregious wrong by signing AB 2075 (details below).  The bill was sponsored by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation whose mission is "Fighting For Justice and Changing Lives."  Although their focus is primarily to help low income families, this new bill will be of benefit to all California Wage Earners — I applaud their successful efforts.  Please read the important information below and, of course, 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

New California Law: Limit on Wage and Hour Releases

Schwarzenegger_signs_billGovernor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law AB 2075, which modifies California Labor Code Section 206.5. The new provision takes effect on January 1, 2009.Section 206.5 currently prohibits an employer from requiring the “execution of a release” of a claim or right on account of wages due, or to become due, or made as an advance on wages to be earned unless payment of those wages has been made. Consequently, an employer cannot condition payment of earned wages on an employee’s execution of a release, and an employee cannot waive wages owed by an employer, unless all wages have already been paid. A violation of Section 206.5 will invalidate the release agreement, be deemed a misdemeanor, and may also result in civil ramifications. The new Section 206.5(b) defines a “release.” For the purpose of the amended Section 206.5, “execution of a release” will now prohibit an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of being paid, to execute a statement of hours that he or she worked during a pay period which the employer knows to be false.Employers should closely review their employee release agreements, time recording documents and processes in light of the soon-to-be-modified Section 206.5.

Josepadilla Sponsored by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (photo: Executive Director Jose Padilla) whose justifiably employee-friendly rationale is written as follows:

According to the author’s office, increasingly unscrupulous employers protect themselves from litigation over   underpayment of wages or meal & rest period violations by adopting false pay records and timekeeping systems.  In many instances, these employers have instituted a practice of requiring their employees to sign off on timesheets which do not reflect actual hours worked and which are created at the direction of the employer or his/her staff, and/or to sign declarations attached to their timesheets that they have received all their rest and meal periods when, in fact, they have not.  These statements are generally required to be signed before the timesheets are turned over to the employer and wages  are paid. Workers who question this practice are often retaliated against.

It took this great foundation to put the wheels in motion to strengthen the rights of California Wage Earners.   

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

Wage & Hour Litigation Alert! $1.4 Million for Drywall Workers

Ag_logo_lgbal80Wage & Hour Violations are intolerable. Employees, often at the mercy of their employers are afraid to stand up for their rights because they fear the ultimate retribution: Being Fired. However, you as employees have rights. As discussed in a previous post, Attorney Steve Waisbren and I are aggressively pursuing claims for employees who have been cheated out of overtime pay, meal breaks and other compensation by their employers.

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

Apropos to my previous Wage & Hour post, I just read a News Release from the Office of the Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown, Jr. where the headline reads "Attorney General Brown Announces $1.4 Million Restitution Settlement for Drywall Workers."  Please read the article below:

ORANGE COUNTY – California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a settlement with an Orange County drywall contractor that will award $1.4 million in restitution to employees who were forced to work overtime and through state-mandated meal breaks without being fully compensated for their work.

“This settlement will right a wrong that’s been inflicted on the hard-working employees of Interwall,” Attorney General Brown said. “The company tried to increase its profit on the backs of its workforce, by denying employees meal breaks and overtime pay. With this agreement, Interwall will now be required to pay its employees a proper wage for every hour of work they performed.”

Brown sued Interwall Development Systems last January for engaging in unfair and unlawful business practices. The suit alleged that Interwall denied certain overtime pay, did not provide accurate itemized wage statements, and did not allow its employees to take breaks during afternoon shifts. Approximately 400 employees were affected by the company’s practices. The company slashed its labor costs in an effort to underbid competition for at least 150 drywall installation projects in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego Counties.

The settlement, approved by the judge today in Orange County Superior Court, prohibits Interwall from circumventing the state’s labor laws. It will award just over $1.4 million to current and former employees of Interwall that were not properly paid for work they had done. Of the $1.4 million to be paid by the company, $674,396 will be applied to resolve unpaid overtime claims, $303,607 will resolve interest claims on the overtime, and $425,996 will be paid to compensate workers who had to work through state mandated break periods.

Additionally, Interwall will pay up to $131,000 in employer share payroll taxes that the company would have paid if it had adequately compensated its employees for their work.

Since the company violated provisions of the California Business & Professions Code on unfair business practices, it will have to pay civil fines in the amount of $200,000 to the state.

Investigators found that some Interwall employees worked Monday through Saturday, up to twelve hours per day, and received no overtime payments. Interwall also denied rest breaks to employees during their afternoon shifts. Under California law, workers are entitled to a ten-minute break every four hours and to overtime pay for working more than eight hours per day or forty hours per week.

To avoid paying overtime, Interwall set up a business operation with affiliate companies that paid employees, at regular pay rates, for the extra hours. In one case, an employee worked sixty-eight hours for Interwall, but was paid for forty hours by Felts Construction Company and twenty-eight hours by Cinco Construction.

Last December, Brown sued two janitorial companies, Excell Cleaning & Building Services and MO Restaurant Cleaning Services, for committing flagrant violations of California’s basic wage and hour laws. Brown also sued Brinas Corporation, a Southern California drywall contractor, found to be paying workers below minimum wage and also denying overtime wages. The state was awarded nearly $1.4 million in the Brinas case in June of this year. Brown also sued PacifiStaff, a company that was teaching construction companies how to avoid providing state mandated workers’ compensation benefits.

Attorney General Brown enforces California laws that require fair business practices in order to protect working men and women and ensure a level playing field where all businesses adhere to the same rules of conduct. His office has several ongoing investigations into employment, payroll and record-keeping practices of various businesses and construction companies across California.

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

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. 

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