When You Should Correct Overpayment | Mann & Elias
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Why Wage and Hour Class Actions Cost Employers Millions

The Importance of Addressing Wage and Hour Discrepancies

Employers must abide by all federal and state guidelines regarding minimum wage and fair pay. If not, it could turn into a costly class-action lawsuit. In California, class-action cases involve one or more plaintiffs who intend to represent a group of people with similar allegations.

Liability is then determined by a judge who approves a legal remedy for all members. More times than not, these disputes lead to an expensive settlement. The slightest mistake an employer makes can cost the company millions in compensation.

Fortunately, these cases settle out of court quickly for the employee to avoid a lengthy litigation period and expensive legal fees. This article addresses concerns and answers questions you might have about wage and hour disputes into the new year. If you notice a discrepancy in pay, chances are others are too.

It Began with Class Action Settlements

Companies have started paying closer attention to conduct in the office following the rate of class action settlements in 2017. The number of them totaled $2.72 billion, according to SHRM. It had been 1 billion higher than what was reported in 2016. During that time, most U.S. companies faced workplace discrimination claims, complaints regarding overtime, and several wage and hour disputes. Since then, changes have been made to avoid such incidents before they happen. That includes when to involve Human Resources and how employers should handle them independently.

How Exactly Does HR Help Me?

There is often a misconception that human resources only look out for the best interests of the company. That is not true. They do, however, have an active role in overseeing new staff and serve as a liaison between upper management and employees.

They enforce all policies, including those under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). To ensure that you get paid appropriately and timely, you can expect HR to do the following:

  • Keep an accurate record of your timesheet and hours
  • Educate employers on the differences between exempt and non-exempt workers
  • Ensure that the company does period audits to prevent misclassification
  • Pay close attention to employed independent contractors, as their work should be assessed for accuracy.

It is equally important for employers to vocalize when someone has questions or seeks more information. For businesses that don’t have HR, any employment-related concerns can be run by wage and hour attorneys like those at Mann & Elias. A trusted legal team can help make sense of your pay stubs, weekly dissimilarities and gather the information needed to bring a claim against the company if need be.

How Much Does an Employer Need to Owe Me Before I Can Sue?

Employment attorneys would assure you that these suits never come as a surprise. Most of the time, companies are fully aware of the misconduct.

When it comes to missed payments, most clients ask the following question: my employer owes me lost wages should I sue? The answer is almost always yes – but lawsuits are a last resort. Whether it’s twenty dollars or two-hundred dollars, that is compensation that should be reflected in your paycheck. California labor laws enforce a strong civil penalty when employers withhold pay or don’t pay on time.

Under California Labor Code § 210:

  • Employers must pay a $100 penalty for paying an employee late
  • Failing to pay on time the following week will result in another $100 penalty
  • Any subsequent violation after that will result in a $200 loss, including 25% of the amount withheld

As an employee, you shouldn’t have to feel that your voice will go unheard, or you’ll face retaliation for speaking up. We will ensure that your claims are investigated and addressed.

About Mann & Elias

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every level of the state and federal court systems in lawsuits regarding discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, and more. When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work.

Workplace disputes and negotiations can be complicated and uncomfortable between an employee and employer. In many cases an employer can retaliate, causing individuals to feel that they are at a great disadvantage in the company. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we strongly believe our success is based on:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Since our partnership began over 20 years ago, we have settled hundreds of claims, completed 100 jury and bench trials, and recovered more than $18 million in settlements. In the end, our goal is to understand what you need and achieve the best outcome for you by focusing on those needs. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com.


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