People work to afford the goods and services that their families need. That makes jobs more than just a place to go every day but a necessity for survival. Employees are expected to meet certain obligations in the performance of their duties as outlined by their employer. Their employer is equally responsible for providing employees with fair and equitable compensation in a timely manner. In fact, these obligations by the employer are part of the California labor laws. If an employer fails to uphold their compensation requirements, employees could be left wondering what they can do. Fortunately, because of the law, employees are protected and have a legal right to obtain the compensation they are owed.
When your employer fails to pay you the correct wages within the time set forth by law, you should enlist the help of an experienced wage and compensation attorney. They can help you understand your options and recover the compensation you may be entitled to in Burbank, CA.
California labor laws 201-204 are set up to protect employees from any potential theft of wages as well as employers from employees who may seek to exploit them for additional money. The laws are as follows:
California law protects your right to fair and accurate compensation, regardless of how your salary is structured. This includes regular wages, bonuses, overtime, and any sales commissions. Unjustified withholding of these funds by an employer, either knowingly or accidentally, is considered an act of wage theft and a breach of the agreement between the employer and the employee. Some examples of common wage theft include:
Breaches in the law concerning employee wages could carry large consequences for employers, including fines imposed by the state and civil claims filed by employees who seek to recover owed wages. Additional ways these penalties could impact an employer include:
Anyone who feels they may be a victim of wage theft should do the following:
Working with an attorney that specializes in employment law, you will attempt to recover the lost wages that you are owed. In addition, they can look for any mitigating circumstances that might also need to be addressed in court, such as wrongful termination, a hostile work environment, harassment in the workplace, or discrimination. California is a “right-to-work” state, which means that employees’ rights are a priority. The state recognizes that its infrastructure is dependent on its workforce and therefore does all it can to protect its workers.
Your attorney will investigate your employment. They will start by obtaining your employment records, contracts, and any other pertinent information that will help them understand the compensation agreements between you and your employer. On each paycheck, employers are required to provide information on:
This information must be retained for no less than three years and made available upon request. After obtaining and reviewing this information, your attorney will investigate for discriminatory or retaliatory incidents to understand if they are the root cause. From there, a claim can be filed to recover any compensation you may be owed.
Employers in California may not always pay you the amount of time that you believe you are owed. This is often because many industries in California practice wage rounding that follows many federal laws. Under federal law, wages under seven minutes can be rounded down. You cannot file a claim in this situation.
Most often, employees that are incorrectly classified for overtime pay find that they experience the most violations. If an employee works more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day, they should be compensated for overtime pay. However, there are some classifications of employees that are not entitled to this, such as certain salaried employees.
The circumstances of each claim vary and could impact the cost. However, on average, an employment attorney will cost between $98 and $450 per hour. This is often dependent on the number of years of experience or their level of expertise. Cost should be a question you ask during any initial consultation.
From the time a claim is filed until full resolution of disputed wages is reached, a wage claim could take between three and twelve months. It depends on the complexity of the case, the cooperation of both parties, and the schedule of the court. Your attorney can help you understand the timeline and what to expect at each stage of your case.
Performing the duties of your job with the expectation of fair, honest, and timely compensation should never come into question. However, there are times when an employer fails to live up to their obligations. If you feel you are the victim of wage theft, you should contact an attorney you can trust. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, our expert employment attorneys can review your case and help you know your rights in seeking to recover the wages you may be owed. You do not have to stand up to your employer alone. Contact our team today and find out how we can help.