Articles Posted in wage and hour lawsuit

Mistreatment of immigrant employees unfortunately happens all too often, as some employers take advantage of workers’ lack of English skills and fear of potential deportation. Holding these firms accountable for such discrimination is a primary goal of our L.A. employment discrimination lawyers. employment discrimination

One’s immigration status or language skills should have no bearing on the way a company treats its workers.

Recently in Illinois, two restaurants and an employment agency were ordered to pay nearly $215,000 in back wages and penalties to a number of immigrant workers who were both mistreated and underpaid. Defendants in the matter – a sushi restaurant, a hibachi restaurant and an employment agency in Chinatown – are all expected to abide the consent decree. A judge will be in charge of overseeing the execution of the settlement, which partly requires the businesses to make a notable change in their employment practices.  Continue reading

An exotic dancer wishing to pursue a class action wage-and-hour lawsuit against her former employer will not be compelled to arbitrate her claim – despite previously signing an arbitration agreement prior to employment.wage and hour lawyer

According to the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the arbitration clause plaintiff signed is not applicable to a proposed class action that asserts the strip club employer misclassified dancers as independent contractors rather than employees. In a unanimous ruling, justices determined the agreement was only applicable for claims that arose under her employment agreement – not statutory claims such as a wage-and-hour lawsuit.

Misclassification of workers is a serious and ongoing problem, leading to workers being underpaid and denied many important benefits of employment. Misclassification involves the practice of labeling workers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. The benefit for employers with this, as noted by the National Conference of State Legislatures, is they avoid paying unemployment and other taxes on workers, and also from covering them on workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment insurance.  Continue reading

Conflicts between state and federal law have long been a problem for employers. This is more than a mere inconvenience: at times, it can remove safety rules which protect workers and prevent employers from incurring liability. A new law moving through Congress would remove safety protects in the most dangerous industry for American workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers recorded more fatal injuries in 2015 than any other occupation.employment rights lawyers

The Mercury News reports that the bill was written by Representative Jeff Denham, and would prevent states from setting their own rules for truck drivers’ work hours. Thus California would be prohibited from enforcing its own transportation safety laws, which require a thirty-minute meal break after five hours of work, and a ten-minute rest break after four hours of work. Instead, truck drivers driving through California would be subject to federal trucking regulations, which only require a thirty-minute meal break after eight hours of driving. Lobbyists claim that, while at least twenty states have set their own rest break laws, the bill is largely aimed at curbing the influence of California law in the trucking industry. It is also worth noting that Representative Denham’s campaigns have received more than $193,000 from the trucking industry since he first ran for Congress in 2010. Continue reading

Employees are often placed at a disadvantage in workplace litigation due to the superior bargaining power of their employers. Thus, when an employer violates workplace laws, a common strategy for plaintiffs is to gather together a group of employees who have suffered from the same violation in order to file a class action lawsuit. By forming a group, the plaintiffs increase their financial power in litigation, as well as their bargaining power during settlement negotiations.class action employment lawsuits

A new case decided by the California Supreme Court on July 13, 2017 makes it easier for plaintiffs to find other employees who may have been impacted by workplace violations. In a rare unanimous decision, the Court determined that a plaintiff does not need to show that his or her case has merit before gaining access to the employer’s records for employee contact information. Instead, this information must be provided at the onset of litigation, before the court either makes a determination of merit, or certifies a class of plaintiffs (which must occur before class action litigation can proceed).

JD Supra reports that the decision made only two small concessions to employee privacy concerns. First, the Court ratified a rule of case law which allows employers to notify affected employees about the potential release of their information and opt out of having their information released. Second, the Court also endorsed a prohibition against employee contact information being disclosed outside of the confines of a specific lawsuit.  Continue reading

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court on May 8, 2017, makes it easier for employers to comply with the state’s “day of rest” statute. The enhanced flexibility can benefit both employers working to accommodate their business needs, and employees who desire more flexibility to accommodate their personal activities with their work schedule and responsibilities. employment lawyers

The California “day or rest” statute prohibits employers from causing employees to work more than six in seven days. The San Francisco Business Times reports that, in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, the Court clarified that the day of rest is guaranteed for each work week, rather than any given period of seven days. Previously, it was unclear which measure had to be used for purposes of calculating the day off. Some employers would go to great lengths to accommodate every seven-day period on a rolling basis. Now, they need only to set a defined work week, and ensure that employees have one day off within that week.

The ruling also gave employers the option of scheduling employees for more than seven days in a row if they are given time off equivalent to one day per work week. This, too, allows greater flexibility in scheduling. It also appears to signal the Court’s awareness of the realities of the contemporary American workforce.  Continue reading

The United States has the largest prison population in the world.  There have been various attempts over the years to change sentencing and get rid of mandatory minimums for non-violent offenses, but even that hasn’t been able to resolve this concerning trend. In fact, new attorney general has issued orders to all federal prosecutors to charge all offenses to the highest level possible and go for mandatory minimums whenever possible. This is of course good business for the companies that run many of our nations prisons, so at least for now, this numbers are expected to increase.

LA Employment Attorney A recent news article from Food Tank, self-described think tank for food, lists the current incarceration rate at 66 prisoners per 10,000 U.S. citizens.  This is an astounding number when you look at virtually every other nation in the world. Continue reading

Nike is being sued for violating wage and hour laws within the state of California. The case was filed as a putative class complaint. Many Nike employees could become part of the class action claim against the company for failing to pay wages as required under California law. employment attorney

There are many protections in place under state and federal law to ensure every employee is paid a fair wage in the state of California. An Orange County employment lawyer can provide assistance to those who are not paid at least minimum wage, who are not paid required overtime or who are otherwise deprived by their employers of money they earned. Continue reading

For many Americans who struggle to get enough hours at their jobs, the chance to work overtime is welcomed.  The reason for this is that being paid time and a half for any hours over 40 in a given week means a bigger paycheck.

marijuana lawyerHowever, there are those who are not looking to work overtime, because that takes away time from their families and may interfere with their ability to work second or even third jobs, as this is an unfortunate reality for many workers these days, because a single job will not pay enough to let a person take care of themselves and their families.

For these people, the fact that they will be earning overtime pay helps to ease that burden and makes it more palatable.  However, according to a recent report from CNN, the U.S. House has just passed a bill that would allow employers to not pay overtime.  Continue reading

In an ideal world, every labor law and employee contract would be written in such a way that is clear and unambiguous to all parties involved in the employment relationship, especially the employee.  It would be fair to the employer as well, and there would not be any issues.  We obviously do not live in that ideal world, as many employers take advantage of their employees and try to use contract clause ambiguity and statutory ambiguity to get away with what they are doing.

gavelAccording a recent article from the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal, heavy litigation in a case involving overtime pay for dairy delivery drivers is being decided based upon the placement of a comma in an ambiguous state law.   This case was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Continue reading

A yoga company has agreed to settle claims of unfair wages and failure to meet minimum wage obligations for $1.65 million, according to Bloomberg, which detailed the proposed settlement.yoga

The case, before the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, stemmed from allegations by students that they were paid to clean the studios in exchange for free or discounted memberships.

The situation sheds light on how “bartering” can be inherently unfair to one side, and also legally pretty tricky. There is no provision of state or federal law that allows companies to draw up minimum wage obligations with in-kind payments, like the ones extended by this studio. Employees must be paid at least the minimum wage.  Continue reading