Articles Posted in wage and hour lawsuit

Two workplace meal break cases are headed to the California Supreme Court this year and are being closely watched by Los Angeles employment lawyers. One has the potential to greatly increase the sum of employer penalties for meal break violations, while the other may require a more advanced calculation – and higher premiums – for requiring workers to work through meal breaks. Los Angeles employment lawyer

Meal break violations are the source of many California employment lawsuits. Labor Code Section 512 states that employers can’t employ someone to work for more than five hours daily without providing them a meal period of at least 30 minutes – except if the total amount of work for the day is no more than 6 hours. (In that case, the meal period can be waived by mutual consent.) If the employee works more than 10 hours daily, than a second meal period of at least 30 minutes is required, except if the total number of hours worked is no more than 12. A second meal period can be waived by mutual consent – but only if the first meal period in was not waived.

There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, this is widely applicable. During the meal break, employees who aren’t fully relieved of all duties are considered to be “on duty,” and are only allowed when the nature of work prevents an employee from being relieved and it is to compensated at the regular rate of pay. Employees must agree to this in writing, and these agreements must indicate the employee can revoke the agreement at any time. If the employer requires the employee to remain on site during meal breaks, then that time must be paid – even if the worker is fully relieved of all duties. If an employer doesn’t provide a meal break, the employer must pay an additional premium of one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate for each work day that the meal period isn’t provided (though this isn’t counted as hours worked for tallying overtime).

Over the last couple years, state appellate courts have taken on numerous cases that have involved those on-duty meal period agreements, as well as the method for calculating premium pay when employers fail to provide a compliant meal period. Continue Reading ›

California provides numerous protections for workers’ wage and hours. Most employers strive to pay their workers fair wages for the hours they work, but end up making mistakes and violate these laws. As our Orange County wage and hour lawyers can explain, even unintentional violations can have serious consequences for the business and owner. Companies have a legal obligation to be aware of their duties. Orange County employment lawyer

Here, we outlined the Top 3 Wage and Hour Mistakes made by employers. Continue Reading ›

After nearly a decade of legal battles, employees for Apple received a ruling in their favor when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that California’s minimum wage law entitles them to be paid for the time they spend waiting to be searched and being searched when they leave the retail store. Los Angeles employment lawyer

Our Los Angeles employment attorneys recognize this case could have far-reaching implications for employees in retail and other industries.

The class action case, Frliken et. al. v. Apple Inc., covers retail workers for Apple Inc. and was first filed in 2009. Key to the appellate court’s decision was the fact that Apple has a policy that requires employees who carry bags to work to undergo package and bag searches by supervisors or security staff at the end of each shift as a loss prevention method. Such actions are legal (so long as they aren’t applied in a way that is discriminatory) but employees can’t be expected to wait for and undergo these searches on their own time/at their own expense, the court ruled. Continue Reading ›

All employees in California – including agricultural workers – are protected by certain rights under California’s labor laws, which include the right to minimum wages, meal and rest breaks and heat recovery breaks. There are more than 70,000 farms statewide spanning nearly 25 million acres of land. But these workers, more than 400,000 of whom in California were considered essential to our economic and practical sustainability through the pandemic, remain vulnerable. employment attorney Orange County

Recently, farmworkers in a San Joaquin County labor lawsuit were compensated for rest breaks that were not paid. However, the California appellate court would not allow them recovery under two separate statutes. Continue Reading ›

Tens of thousands of California fast-food workers at corporate-owned McDonald’s restaurants in California will be getting a cut of the $26 million class action lawsuit over years-old allegations of wage theft. Los Angeles wage theft lawyer

On average, each employee can expect to receive about $330, though some may have as much as $4,000 coming to them.

Business Insider reports the lawsuit was first filed seven years ago, with the corporation accused of engaging in numerous illegal practices to scam workers of fair wages, including:

  • Not paying all wages when they were due.
  • Not providing rest and meal breaks for workers.
  • Not paying overtime wages.
  • Not paying minimum wages.

Continue Reading ›

Three restaurant companies based in Southern California will have to pay nearly $500,000 to settle claims that they systematically underpaid workers in violation of Los Angeles County’s minimum wage ordinance. The ordinance since 2016 has required companies in unincorporated Los Angeles County – regardless of size – to increase wages annually through each July through 2021, when it will be $15/hourly.L.A. wage theft lawyers

As our L.A. wage theft attorneys understand it, county investigators with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs discovered the restaurant corporations underpaid nearly 100 workers going back at least three years. Although the companies were reportedly in compliance with state minimum mandatory wage laws, they did not comply with the local ordinance. A representative from one of the restaurants said it was a misunderstanding, as two of the 19 locations owned by the companies are technically located in unincorporated L.A. County, despite having mailing addresses in the incorporated municipalities. While the state minimum wage for workers was $12 or $13 hourly (depending on the size of the company), the county’s minimum wage was $14.25. When the mistake was discovered, the spokesman said the companies immediately moved to rectify it.

County investigators said whether it was an honest mistake or the motives were more insidious, employers have a responsibility to pay their employees fairly. When they do not, there are consequences. Continue Reading ›

Delivery drivers across the country have been filing lawsuits in recent years demanding they have been cheated out of overtime and other benefits. As our L.A. overtime lawyers know, delivery service drivers are too frequently victims of wage theft. This can come in numerous forms, including:

  • Not being paid their full, earned wages.
  • Not properly reimbursed for car expenses when they own the vehicle they drive.
  • Improperly categorized as a contractor when they are an employee. L.A. overtime lawyer

Sometimes workers in this industry are paid daily rates for a certain number of hours when in reality, their work takes longer than the hours they’ve formally logged. Continue Reading ›

Freelance journalists may soon be exempted from the controversial Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect Jan. 1st. The new law codified the California Supreme Court’s ruling in the Dynamex case, which established an “ABC test” for ascertaining whether workers are misclassified as independent contractors when in fact they should be receiving all the benefits of employment.employee misclassification

The law, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, has been the target of gig industry behemoths like Postmates, Lyft and Instacart. Freelance journalists, though, are another group that has been embroiled in a fight over AB5. Specifically, the law stipulates that a journalist who produces more than 35 submissions to a single entity should be considered an employee. But that, freelancers say, would effectively kill their career. Media companies, who increasingly can hire reporters and photographers who live and work anywhere, would be less inclined to hire writers from California – or cut them off at the 35-submissions mark.

Gonzalez said she had received extensive feedback from writers, photographers and journalists about how this would impact their ability to make a living, and said changes would be made to accommodate them, while still offering protection against employee misclassification. She indicated that amendments to the law would be introduced that would remove the submission cap. However, contractors still cannot replace employees. Contracts with freelance journalists would also need to expressly indicate the pay rate, payment deadline, individual’s copyrights to the work. Companies also won’t have the right to restrict freelancers from working for more than one outlet, and they can’t mainly perform their work on the business’s premises. Continue Reading ›

It’s being touted as one of the most consequential bills that would bolster employees’ ability to organize that the U.S. has seen in 80 years. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, H.R. 2474, is slated to go before the U.S. House of Representatives next week, where it’s likely to pass. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to gain much traction in the Senate, but it does signal an increasing push toward progressive labor legislation.Orange County labor lawyers

If enacted, the PRO Act would alter decades-old federal labor laws to shift more power to workers. This would extend to situations involving:

  • Employer-employee disputes;
  • Penalties for companies proven to have broken labor laws (including retaliation against workers attempting to unionize);
  • Collective bargaining rights for hundreds of thousands of workers who currently don’t have them.

Right-to-work laws, which is exist in 27 states, would also be weakened under the PRO Act. Continue Reading ›

The Trump administration recently loosened labor law protections by making it more difficult for franchise employees to sue corporations for wage theft under the joint employer rule. Those who work for subcontractors and staffing agencies will have a tougher time securing legal remedy for labor law violations. The new rule issued by the Department of Labor also makes it more challenging to prove that a corporation is responsible for the labor law violations committed by franchise owners and contractors. Los Angeles wage theft lawyer

The new rule, which is no surprise having been on the table since last April, are enacted under the administration’s supposition that reducing corporate regulation will stimulate economic growth. It’s been praised by business groups, but worker advocates and unions sharply oppose it.

Central to this rule was the question of whether a corporation can be considered the “joint employer” of a worker for a franchise. There have been numerous cases wherein large companies have been sued for labor law violations – including wage theft – that was committed by the owner of a franchise. What this rule does is set a higher standard for “joint employer.” As our Los Angeles wage theft lawyers can explain, the new rule stipulates that companies are considered joint employers only if they:

  • Hire
  • Fire
  • Supervise
  • Set pay
  • Maintain employment records

Continue Reading ›

Contact Information