You work hard to earn a living. Getting paid for the work you perform is a vital right. Your employer is required to pay you for every minute you work. Whether you earn minimum wage or have an executive employment contract, you are entitled to receive full and fair compensation for the work you perform. Unfortunately, some companies and managers try to control their costs at the expense of workers. If your boss refuses to pay you the full amount you are due, that is wage theft. At the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak in San Francisco and Los Angeles, our lawyers take a hard stance in fighting for the rights of workers who have suffered wage theft.
Wage and compensation laws are varied and create rights beyond the minimum wage. We draw on 20 years of experience helping workers at every level of income obtain the full wages and the compensation they have earned.
There are a wide variety of problems that can create a valid wage and hour concern. Among the common tactics that businesses may use to deny workers their full compensation include:
- Sidestepping the exempt/nonexempt rules: Employers frequently misclassify workers to avoid paying them overtime. Employers try to sidestep overtime laws by giving a worker a title and salary. But it is a worker’s job duties — not their title or how they are paid — that define whether or not the worker is entitled to overtime under the law.
- Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor: Similarly, many employers try to designate their employees “independent contractors.” But it is the actual circumstances of the job, not what the person is called, that counts. If to an outside observer you would appear to be an employee, you probably are. Health care coverage, minimum wage laws, overtime pay and the right to stock options are common concerns when an employer misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor.
- Using improper accounting practices: Shaving hours, requiring workers to perform duties before or after hours and rounding-off time are among the variables that employers may use to save money at a worker’s expense.
- Sharing tips and gratuities: California law prohibits employers from sharing tip money left for workers. Workers cannot be forced to use their tip money to cover employment expenses. Similarly, employers cannot offset hourly wages based on a worker’s income from gratuities.
- Denying earned commissions and bonuses: Executives and sales personnel frequently run into problems getting paid for commissions, bonuses and compensation they have earned due to disagreements over the fine print in contracts. The same laws that protect rank-and-file workers protect executives as well. All employees must be paid what they are owed.
- Denying workers meal breaks, rest breaks or earned vacation:California law recognizes the need for rest and meal breaks during the work day. If your boss requires you to work without proper breaks, or has refused to pay you for vacation time you have earned, we can explain your legal options to get you the compensation you have earned.
If you have questions or concerns about your compensation, you owe it to yourself to get answers. Call our wage and compensation attorneys at 415-693-0300 or send us an email to arrange your free consultation. We will answer your questions and help you to get the compensation you have earned.