Are You Owed Unpaid Overtime? Contact Us Today
As an employee in the state of California, are you aware of the general provisions requiring overtime pay? If so, is your employer adhering to the overtime pay rates required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
It is important that you know and understand your rights as an employee, as you are protected under certain circumstances due to federal and state law. If you believe you are owed overtime pay, contact our employment lawyer in Los Angeles so you can provide us with an explanation of your current situation and we can give you more clarification. We offer free consultations and encourage anyone who is facing an employment issue to reach out to our team as soon as possible.
WHAT CONSTITUTES OVERTIME?
According to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), in order for work to be considered overtime, it must meet some general provisions. They are as follows:
- The employee must be 18 years of age or older OR a minor who is not required by law to attend school and is not prohibited from engaging in work.
- The employee is employed more than eight hours in a single work day OR more than 40 yours in a workweek.
If an employee meets these criteria, the employer is required to pay one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours exceeding the standard workday or workweek.
WHAT IS THE ‘REGULAR RATE OF PAY?’
Because the amount of overtime pay is based on the regular rate of pay, it is important to understand what the term refers to. The regular rate of pay can refer to any number of things, including hourly earnings, commissions, salary, or piecework earnings. The regular rate of pay may never have been lower than the legal minimum wage. The regular rate of pay is usually determined by referring to an employee’s hourly rate or salary. For those paid on a salary basis, the regular rate is calculated by multiplying the monthly salary by 12, dividing the result by 52, and dividing that result by the number of legal maximum hours (40) to get the rate. According to Labor Code Section 204, overtime wages are required to be paid no later than the next payday for the regularly scheduled pay period after which the wages were earned.
OVERTIME PAY: RIGHTS AS AN EMPLOYEE
Many employers are legally required to pay overtime to at least a portion of their employees. As an employee, you may have heard “time and a half” when referring to overtime pay, which means that the overtime pay is your hourly rate plus 50% of the overtime premium (half of your usual hourly rate), for every hour you work overtime.
Keep in mind that not all employees are allowed to earn/work overtime, as it is typically dependent on your employer and job duties. While a large amount of employers must pay overtime to those who are due, not all of them actually do. Typically, if a business has at least $500,000 in annual sales, then they must abide by the overtime rule. However, even if your employer makes less than that in annual sales, it is still covered by the FLSA and is still required to pay overtime if it is part of interstate commerce, which means it conducts business between other states. You can also refer to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), where you will find the federal wage and hour law that explains the rules. Whatever the case may be, it is important to consult with our team of overtime pay attorneys in Los Angeles to better understand your rights. You can also refer to Overtime Pay: Rights as an Employee for more information on our website.
ATTORNEY FEES FOR WAGE AND OVERTIME CASES
Is hiring a lawyer worth it? While you may not need us for every situation, we offer specialized assistance, knowledge, and advice regarding workplace disputes. Clients normally opt out of hiring legal representation due to finances – unsure of the financial toll or burden it can leave them if the case is not won. At Mann & Elias, we want our prospective clients to feel safe, and secure. We offer free consultations to ensure that 1) you have a proper case and 2) any legal questions are answered. A lawyer can be hired one of three ways: on an hourly basis, contingent fees, or a written agreement. If you are considering pursuing legal representation, refer to Attorney Fees For Wage And Overtime Cases for more information.
OVERTIME DISPUTES: ARE YOU BEING DENIED OVERTIME PAY?
Most federal and state laws require employers to pay for overtime. In other words, you should not let your boss steal money from you, for the hours you have worked. Working overtime is when you are considered working outside of an allotted time frame. For example, after your shift is over your boss may contact you to rework a project or assignment. When you go back to fix that mistake it should be reflected in your timesheet, and you should be getting paid for it.
In California, an employee must be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked after eight hours. After 12 hours, the employee receives double-time. The employee cannot compensate you with less money or ask you to work off-the-clock. If you feel that your rights are getting violated, you should seek legal counsel to sue your employer if you are being denied overtime pay.
OVERTIME PAY: EMPLOYEE RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Not all employees are eligible for overtime pay from your employers. Whether you put in 40 hour, 50 hours or more – your employer should clarify if you are exempt from pay. Employees that are most likely exempt from overtime are white-collar workers ranging from administrative to executive roles. Normally those who are exempt are paid on a salary basis. Others who may not qualify include:
– Independent contractors
– Employees of small farms
– Fishing operations personnel
– Select seasonal employees
– Salespeople working outside the office
Depending on the profession, if an employer exceeds $500,000 in annual sales, it is automatically covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law requiring an employer to pay overtime. However, if an employer does not have $500,000 in annual sales, the FLSA may still cover them if they engage in interstate commerce. You can refer to Overtime Pay: Employee Rights Violations for more information. Additionally, for more information of wages and hours you can refer to California Workers’ Rights Laws.
DO YOU HAVE AN OVERTIME CASE?
Overtime violations are a broad category of workplace offenses that include any action designed to help a company avoid the payment of overtime funds that they owe. In almost all instances, companies want to get away with paying their employees as little as possible. You may have a strong overtime case if you have irrefutable proof that your employer is refusing to pay you. For example, your pay stub and logged hours are official documentation that can build a strong case. If neither match up in regard to how much you were paid weekly or bi-weekly, you can have a lawyer look into the case. If possible, try to avoid quitting your job before your case is assessed. If your employer engaged in unlawful violations, he or she can be penalized on top of the damages owed to you.
LEGAL LIMITS ON PAY DOCKING AND UNPAID SUSPENSIONS
Employers can take from your wages in the form of a pay dock if you, for example, take one too many sick days. Normally it will be disclosed to you and may require a mutual agreement in writing. It can not be withdrawn from you for any other reason. However, pay docking for salaried workers is slightly different from those who work on an hourly basis. Employers are allowed by the law to make salary deductions without jeopardizing the employee’s exempt status for one or more days if an employee takes an off. Below is a list of permitted salary deduction scenarios:
- When they go on medical or family unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- When they take off days to take care of some personal issues.
- Taking a leave for illness or disability reasons and having a policy such as sick leave or disability insurance will compensate them for the time off.
- When they take time off to serve as a court witness, a jury member, or short-term military leave. However, the employer must only deduct the amount the employee is paid as military pay, jury, or witness.
- One can deduct employees’ pay if they do not work a full week during the first or last week of work.
- Deductions can be made as a good faith penalty imposed to improve safety and prevent any workplace dangers.
- Deductions are permitted if employers have policies that are well-written to allow for unpaid disciplinary suspensions imposed on them in good faith due to violations of workplace rules and conduct. However, these policies should apply to all employees.
You can refer to Legal Limits on Pay Docking and Unpaid Suspensions if you would like to learn more.
WAGE AND HOURS FAQ
We understand that not all employers fully go through wages and overtime, if applicable, when you are offered the job. As trusted lawyers, we want to ensure you have the information you need. Educating yourself is the first step toward justice when you feel you have been mistreated by an employer. Read through the frequently asked questions regarding compensation to see if you need a lawyer to sue an employer for unpaid wages.
If you are not receiving fair overtime pay, you have the right to legal action. To better understand how to take action, contact a legal professional as soon as possible. A qualified lawyer will be able to assist you in the process and will guide you through the steps required to receive damages.
LAW OFFICES OF MANN & ELIAS
At the Law Offices of Mann & Elias, we have more than 50 years of combined experience in helping victims protect and learn their rights as an employee. We are specifically focused on employment law and have dealt with dozens of cases similar to yours. For a free initial consultation, contact us today. We would be happy to provide the legal services needed to successfully claim what’s owed to you.