Santa Monica Wage and Hour Lawyer

Santa Monica Wage and Hour Lawyer

Santa Monica Wage and Hour Attorney

Employees in Santa Monica and the rest of the state are protected by extensive employment laws. These laws require that employees be paid for the work they do, are paid a minimum wage or salary, are paid for overtime work, and are given the appropriate breaks. When an employer fails to obey these laws, a Santa Monica wage and hour lawyer can secure compensation on behalf of affected employees.

If your employer is violating wage and hour laws, you are able to hold them accountable. If they retaliate against you, you can also hold them accountable for that. You could be able to file a claim against your employer that recovers the income you should have earned. A Santa Monica employment lawyer can review your situation to determine if you have a viable claim.

The Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez have worked for more than 20 years protecting the rights of employees in the communities surrounding Santa Monica. If your employer is violating wage and hour law, we can help you determine how to effectively file a claim and defend your right to fair pay.

Santa Monica Wage and Hour Lawyer

What Are Wage and Hour Violations?

A wage and hour claim may address several different types of employee rights violations. When an employer fails to pay an employee for the hours they have worked, or fails to provide them with adequate breaks, they are breaking the law. Wage and hour violations include:

Minimum Wage Violations

The state minimum wage is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage. The state minimum wage is $15.50 in 2023 and increases to $16.00 in 2024. Throughout the state, the local minimum wage may be higher. Employers are required to pay the higher minimum wage. If an employee is not being paid minimum wage, they can file a claim to recover the wages they were not paid.

Overtime Pay Violations

Under state law, employees should receive 1.5 times their normal rate when they work over 40 hours in a work week, over 8 hours in a single work shift, and for the first 8 hours on a seventh workday that the employee works in one work week.

Employees should receive 2 times their normal rate when they work more than 12 hours in a single shift and any hours beyond their eighth hour on the seventh day worked in one work week. Overtime pay may also apply to some salaried workers. A wage and hour claim can recover the overtime pay you deserve.

Employee Misclassification

Independent contractors can set their own hours and have more control over their schedule, but they do not have overtime pay protections. Some employers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid certain costs, despite the employees not meeting the definition of an independent contractor.

Misclassification allows employers to avoid payroll taxes, paying overtime pay, and providing healthcare coverage. Employees who are misclassified are losing significant money and benefits that they are owed. A claim can recover these losses.

Missed Rest and Meal Breaks

California has specific requirements that apply to certain employees for rest and meal breaks. According to California lunch break laws, these breaks must also be uninterrupted, and an employer cannot discourage or prevent an employee from taking those breaks. If your employer is denying you rest and meal breaks or making it impossible to take breaks, you may be owed compensation for those lost breaks.

Failure to Reimburse

If employers require employees to buy specific items for work or to perform their specific job duties, the employer must reimburse those expenses.

Addressing Employment Law Violations

California’s employment laws apply differently based on an employee’s job duties and wages, and it’s essential that all California employees know their rights and what they are entitled to.

Although it is illegal to pay employees less than the minimum wage or to misclassify an employee, there are employers who fail to pay their employees what they are worth. Many employees fear retaliation if they speak up about it, as they rely on the wages they do earn.

In some cases, wage and hour violations are mistakes that employers will correct when they are made aware of them. Unfortunately, it’s common for employers to violate wage and hour laws to limit costs, hurting employees in the process. A wage and hour attorney is essential to ensuring that you get the benefits you deserve.

FAQs About Santa Monica, CA Wage and Hour Laws

What Is the New Labor Law in California in 2023?

There are several new labor laws as of 2023. These include a minimum wage and minimum salary increase, protected bereavement leave, and extended requirements for COVID-19 exposure notice. There were also changes to overtime pay for agricultural employees. Additionally, employees now have protection from retaliation when they meet specific conditions for emergency leave.

Will Salaries Increase in 2023 in California?

As of 2023, the minimum wage increased to $15.50 per hour for all employers, no matter the size of the employer’s business. The minimum wage rising also increases the minimum salary of exempt full-time employees. In 2024, the minimum wage in California is planned to rise to $16 per hour. There are various cities and counties with a higher minimum wage than the state requirements, and employers must abide by the highest minimum wage.

Is 32 Hours Full-Time in California?

There is no state legal definition of full-time versus part-time employment. Under some state definitions, a part-time worker is any employee who is working under 35 hours a week. Other definitions list a part-time worker as an employee who works under 32 hours a week. Under the Affordable Care Act, working 30 hours or less is a part-time employee.

Whether an employee is considered full-time or part-time may be dependent on their employer. However, part-time employees still have rights to a safe workplace, minimum wage, and meal and hour breaks.

How Many Hours Straight Can You Legally Work in California?

There is no requirement that limits the number of hours that an employee works a day, but the employee must be provided with the appropriate rest and meal breaks as well as be compensated for working overtime. For most employees, if you work more than 8 hours in a day, you receive overtime pay for the rest of the workday, which is 1.5 times your typical rate. Most employees must also be provided with a paid 10-minute break every 4 hours of work, along with an unpaid 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than 5 hours.

Contact the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez in Santa Monica

Our team has significant experience with wage and hour violations in Santa Monica, CA. When you need an attorney to defend your rights, contact the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez.


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