Articles Posted in wage and hour lawsuit

A class action lawsuit on behalf of college football players alleges violations of minimum wage laws. Filed by a former university player who went on to play for the NFL and now the CFL, accuses the NCAA and many Division I schools of refusing to pay student athletes as they should.minimum wage law violation

The action – the latest in a string of wage and hour lawsuits against the NCAA by its athletes – follows a recent decision by the league to allow players to profit from their own name, likeness and image, the plaintiff says, isn’t enough. That decision came shortly after California passed a law allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals. That could end up being a huge break for amateur players, but the reality is, those kind of offers are only going to be available to a select few players. Other students employed by the universities or the NCAA are paid – those who sell the popcorn, those who tear the tickets – why not the players on the field? For most of the players, these games aren’t hobbies – they’re the start of a career. Both training and games are taken on at no small physical risk and personal sacrifice.

The primary plaintiff in the case, who played for the school between 2013 and 2016, asserts that student athletes should be classified similarly to student employees, even more so than the work-study students who are hired to actually work at college games. In his statement, he insisted he wasn’t seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for any one player, but that it seemed unfair that the NCAA – which brings in close to $1 billion annually – continues to insist the athletes be paid nothing at all. Continue reading

For the most part, business liability insurance policies do cover the cost of defense and settlements in numerous types of employee lawsuits. It usually comes down to the exact language in the policy, but coverage is often extended for claims of sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination. This is of paramount concern to employers, but it’s also relevant to employee plaintiffs in employment litigation because if the insurer doesn’t cover it, the employer will be directly responsible. If the damage award is sizable enough and the company small enough, it could mean you’ll have difficulty collecting on the damage award in your employment lawsuit. wage and hour lawsuit

This is especially pertinent to those filing a claim for violation of California’s wage and hour laws. Many employer liability insurers don’t carry coverage for this type of claim in California. Wage and hour claims are often explicitly cited as an exclusion or else businesses pay a premium for coverage.

However, a recent California Court of Appeal decision paved the way for more wage and hour claims to be covered by employer liability insurers. In Southern California Pizza Company, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, the appellate panel ruled that wage and hour claims against a pizza shop (for failure to reimburse for reimbursable expenses) was not barred under the business’s policy exclusion on wage and hour claims.

Why? Continue reading

The joint employment of a fast-food franchisor can’t be established in California employment lawsuits just because the company asserts control over the franchisee’s branding. Instead, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that plaintiffs will need to show sufficient control over things like worker hours, wages and job conditions under numerous legal theories. wage and hour lawyer

In the case before the Ninth Circuit, Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., the court held that the McDonald’s Corporation didn’t exercise sufficient control over the workers at a Bay Area franchisee to be held as a joint employee for alleged violations of state wage laws. Continue reading

Employee rest periods and overtime are worker rights guaranteed in California by statute and overseen by regulators at the state’s Department of Industrial Relations. Although there are exceptions, most workers are guaranteed at least 10 minutes of rest for every 10 hours worked and must be paid overtime for every hour worked over 40. The laws are clear, and yet our employment wage and hour lawyers know far too many companies run afoul of them. employee rest breaks

Some large banks in the country have been accused – and made to pay – repeatedly for failures in providing employees with rest breaks or pay overtime as required by law – in California and other states.

Recently, a federal judge in New Jersey approved a $35 million settlement to current and former employees at Wells Fargo & Co. who were made to work unpaid overtime outside normal hours. That lawsuit was initially filed three years ago, with the financial firm’s accused of not paying for all hours worked and/or not paying overtime. Workers were reportedly forced to work off-the-clock in order to meet unrealistic sales targets that would be impossible to achieve in a typical 40-hour workweeks.

That same bank had previously been accused of rest break violations. Continue reading

Several former chicken plant workers are suing more than a dozen processing businesses, subsidiaries, affiliates and consultant companies, accusing them of conspiring to keep wages and benefits low for workers, overwhelmingly immigrants. The employees filed the wage and hour lawsuit on their own behalf, though the case could eventually encompass thousands of workers if approved for class action status.wage and hour lawsuit

Employee wage and hour attorneys understand the defendants include some of the largest chicken companies in the U.S., responsible for production and processing of some 90 percent of chicken sold in the country.

Price Fixing Allegations

The federal lawsuit alleges the companies took turns paying for annual, secret gatherings of their respective representatives in Florida to share with each other wage and benefit information – which they then used to fix those wages and benefits. Managers of companies would also be in contact with each other throughout the year when new positions would open up, discussing what the wages and benefits would be for the new post. Plaintiffs alleged this led to a pattern of controlling wages. Continue reading

A federal appellate court has requested the California Supreme Court clear up confusion about the state’s employee meal break and rest break laws, which often lead to wage theft claims. Employment attorneys in Orange County recognize this decision handed down by the court could have a significant impact on both employers and workers in the Golden State. wage and hour lawsuit

According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Cole v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc., the primary questions the court seeks to answer are:

  • Whether the lack of a formal workplace policy on rest and meal breaks is a violation of state law.
  • Whether an employer’s failure to maintain records of rest and meal breaks results in the rebuttable presumption that they were not provided.

A rebuttable presumption in civil law is when the court assumes something to be true unless it is proven otherwise. An example of a rebuttable presumption in civil litigation would be that a driver in the rear of a rear-end collision is presumed negligent. (In criminal law, the best-recognized rebuttable presumption is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.)

In this employment law case, it would mean it could be presumed that meal breaks were not given (due to the lack of records) unless the employer can prove otherwise. Continue reading

Landing a promotion is often a cause to celebrate. However, those who land supervisory roles in some industries find that when they move from an hourly post to a salaried position, they lose their access to overtime pay. That means employers start working them for as many hours they can, and workers end up being paid less per hour for all their new responsibilities. wage and hour lawyer

Los Angeles overtime lawyers know this is very often illegal, and workers are encouraged to discuss their concerns with experienced wage and hour attorneys.

This issue is all the more pressing given a new proposal by President Trump’s U.S. Labor Department, setting the salary threshold (the minimum to which all workers are entitled) to $679 weekly, or little more than $35,000 annually as of next year. That might not seem awful, but the effect is that adopting this proposal would leave behind millions of workers behind that would have gotten a boost of overtime protections per regulations that had been finalized by the Obama administration in 2016. Continue reading

Residential health care workers are winning the right to secure unpaid wages in California in wage theft lawsuits. However, actually getting paid has proven a different story, one our Orange County employment attorneys have been monitoring closely.wage and hour lawyers

While much has been made of the elder abuse in nursing homes and residential care facilities, the story of caregivers gets less spotlight, but isn’t much brighter.

Recently, the Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting unearthed a host of working conditions described as “abusive,” likely not only to endanger patients but also subject workers to unfair conditions. It underscores the need for more substantial oversight of owner/operators of these for-profit facilities. Continue reading

Although federal labor laws cut employers a break when it comes to payment of “de minimus” work – that which is “trivial,” and only takes just a few minutes. In other words, the de minimum rule employers can compel workers to complete a minimal amount of work off-the-clock, rather than making them clock back in for an occasional couple minutes here-and-there.Los Angeles employment lawyer

However, a California Supreme Court decision last year held that defense was not applicable in the Golden State, as our lawmakers and courts expressly sought to provide greater protection for workers compared to federal law.

The state high court’s ruling in Troester v. Starbucks has proven a precedent, on which another federal appellate court ruling has been based. Continue reading

California law requires workers be paid overtime provided they are non-exempt salaried workers and log more than 40 hours in a given week.grocery store  employee wage theft

As noted by the California Department of Industrial Relations, the rate of overtime pay is 1.5 times one’s normal wages for every hour over 40, or all hours in excess of 8 in a given workday. Any hours in excess of 12 in a given workday must be paid at double the rate. With very few exceptions (based on the size of the company and traits of the industry) these are the rules.

California Wage Theft Alleged by Grocery Store Worker

Unfortunately, as our Orange County employment attorneys know, far too many employers skirt these rules. A wage and hour lawsuit recently filed against a grocery store chain in Berkley alleges the company systematically denied at least 50 of its workers fair overtime wages. The Daily Californian reports the worker has sought class action status for his claim, alleging numerous wage-and-hour law violations. Continue reading