Commonly Asked Questions About Wage and Hour Laws
Workers’ rights regarding proper wages and overtime are not always clearly explained by the employer. It’s important to do research on your own so you can avoid being taken advantage of by your company.
As overtime dispute lawyers in Los Angeles, Mann & Elias see educating yourself as the first step toward justice when you feel you’ve been mistreated by an employer. Read through the frequently asked questions regarding compensation below to see if you need lawyer to sue an employer for unpaid wages.
What is the minimum wage in the state of California?
California lawmakers recently voted to gradually increase the minimum wage over the next few years. In 2020, the minimum wage is $12 an hour for smaller companies (25 or fewer employees) and $13 an hour for larger companies (26 or more employees) In 2021, those wages will increase to $13 for smaller companies and $14 for larger companies. The annual increases will continue until 2023, when all employers must pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour.
What is considered overtime in California?
The average work week is 40 hours. Working anything over that is considered overtime. Additionally, working over 12 hours in a day warrants overtime compensation. If an employee works seven days in a row, they are also entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked on that seventh day.
Should I be paid for overtime?
Whether or not an employee is eligible for overtime pay depends on their position. When they sign their contract, they should be told if they are exempt or non-exempt. An exempt employee is not eligible for overtime, and a non-exempt employee is eligible for overtime when they work over 40 hours in one week and on some federal holidays.
If you have not been paid overtime and you are a non-exempt employee, you have a case for an employment lawyer in Los Angeles.
How much overtime should I get?
If an employee works over 40 hours in a single week, their employer is required to pay them 1.5 times their usual rate (also known as time and a half).
Should I be compensated for travel time while on the job?
You should not be compensated for time spent commuting to and from work, but your employer should compensate you for any time spent traveling for your job. Meeting with clients and purchasing goods is done on behalf of your company, so you should keep track of travel expenses (gas, train tickets, etc.), and your employer should reimburse you. They should also be paying you for the time spent traveling for your job.
Am I entitled to a lunch break?
In the state of California, working over five hours a day warrants an unpaid, 30 minute break. When an employee works ten hours in a day, they should be given a second 30 minute unpaid break. However, if the total workday is less than 12 hours, then the second meal break can be waived with written consent from both the employer and the employee.
If a company does not give the employee their required break, then they must add on an additional hour of pay for that day.
Breaks are important because they give the worker a chance to eat and rest, thus lowering the chance of a workplace accident.
Are tips part of my hourly wage?
Tips are not part of your hourly wage. It is illegal for your employer to deduct the tips you received from your paycheck. If your manager has been taking a cut of your tips or giving them to non-customer facing employees, then you should contact a wage and hour attorney Los Angeles to gain back the tips that you earned.
Is my manager entitled to part of my tips?
Tips are given by the customer to the employee for a job well done. Any gratuities earned during a shift are the property of the employee, and managers are not entitled to a cut of them. Tip pools are a common practice in restaurants where all tips are gathered at the end of the night and then divided among staff based on hours worked.
I have not been paid a fair wage or overtime by my employer. Now what?
If you have read through this FAQ and feel that you have not been treated fairly by your employer, you have a case to sue your employer for unpaid wages. Mann & Elias is composed of wage and hour attorneys Los Angeles that are well-versed in workers’ rights. They can meet with you and discuss your case in detail so that you have a full idea of what compensation you can receive. Contact their office to set up a consultation.