Wage & Hour Lawyers in Agoura Hills & Westlake Village
Helping You Fight for the Pay You Earned
Labor laws at the federal and state levels protect workers’ rights, ensuring they are paid a fair wage for all hours worked and that they are able to work in a safe environment.
If you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, employee misclassification, violation of employee break laws or any other type of wage and hour issue, you may have legal options.
Talk with a wage and hour attorney in Agoura Hills and Westlake Village at Bradley/Grombacher LLP to help you find out what steps you can take to protect your rights and pursue compensation for any unpaid wages.
Common Violations of Wage & Hour Laws
If you believe you have experienced any of the following labor law violations, you may have a legal claim:
- Off-the-Clock Work
- Unpaid Wages
- Minimum Wage Violations
- Unpaid Overtime
- Missed Meals and Breaks
- Tip Pooling
- Donning and Doffing
- Employment Discrimination
By filing a wage and hour lawsuit, you may be able to seek compensation for the wages you were entitled to receive according to state labor laws.
Understanding California’s Wage & Hour Laws
Unpaid Overtime in California
Under California law, employers are required to pay overtime to non-exempt employees who work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. The rate of pay for overtime work is 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate.
The employer must also pay the overtime rate for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek and double the employee’s wages for all hours of work after the eighth hour. If an employee works more than 12 hours in a day, the employer must pay double the employee’s wages for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours.
Employers are required to pay employees for all hours worked. Therefore, an employer cannot allow workers to do off-the-clock work without pay.
Employers are required to pay employees for:
- Pre-shift duties
- Post-shift duties
- Time spent waiting for work
California Break Laws
California requires employers to provide non-exempt employees with a 30-minute lunch break if they work five or more hours in a workday. This meal break must be taken within the first five hours of that workday. If an employee works more than 10 hours, they must be given two 30-minute meal breaks.
California labor law also provides for rest breaks for employees working at least three and a half hours per day. These employees must receive a 10-minute break for every four hours worked.
During these breaks, the employee should be relieved of all job duties. Employees cannot continue working or remain "on-call" during their meal or rest breaks.
There are limited exceptions to the break requirement. Employees who are exempt from California meal and rest breaks include:
- Workers meeting all requirements of white-collar exempt employees
- Independent contractors
- Unionized employees with specific agreements on meal breaks
Minimum Wage in California
California minimum wage law as of 2021 requires employees to be paid a minimum of $14 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $13 per hour for employers with fewer than 26 employees. The minimum wage in California is set to increase yearly and will reach $15 for all employees by 2023.
California Employee Misclassification
Some employers misclassify employees as independent contractors, a class of workers with fewer protections than employees. Unlike employees, independent contractors are not subject to California overtime and minimum wage protection laws. Employers are prohibited under California labor laws from willfully misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, national origin, religion, and other protected characteristics. Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, such as disparate treatment, harassment, or a hostile work environment. An employee who wins a workplace discrimination lawsuit may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, attorneys’ fees, and other litigation costs.
Pay for Donning and Doffing
For most jobs, employees are able to dress at home before coming to work. Other jobs require employees to wear certain work gear that can take time to put on and take off, adding extra time to their workday. Whether an employer is required to pay for donning and doffing depends on a number of factors, including cases in which the employee must put on work gear while on the premises.