Articles Tagged with Orange County wage theft attorney

The California Supreme Court ruled that employers in the state cannot invoke the federal de minimis doctrine to avoid paying workers for required duties they perform off-the-clock.clock1-300x225

This California wage theft class action lawsuit filed by a Starbucks employee who alleged the store was requiring him to work for several minutes each shift without being paid. When multiplied by the minimum wage, this work amounted to more than $100 over the course of 17 months.

In granting summary judgment in favor of the employer, the trial court relied on the 1946 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., wherein the court concluded that “a few seconds or minutes of work beyond the scheduled working hours… may be disregarded.” The basic concept is that the courts do not concern themselves with “trifles.” Federal courts have held that it can be applied in cases where small amounts of wages that would otherwise be compensable can be excused when they are difficult to administratively record.

The California Supreme Court reversed, noting the de minimis rule doesn’t apply here.  Continue reading

Last year, after 21 construction workers on site for five months at a new 79-unit apartment complex in downtown Berkeley were denied payments for five full months of work, local trade unions filed complaints with the state and local joint task forces. An investigation prompted the state labor commissioner to impose a contractor lien for $60,000, which was the outstanding balance of what workers were owed months later, long after the job ended.constructionworkers

That turned out to mean those workers were actually paid – albeit late – for the work they did. However, as Next City reports, that is pretty minuscule compared to the scope of the bigger issue, which is unscrupulous contractors committing California wage theft.

Construction workers in particular are the second-most vulnerable labor pool when it comes to wage theft violations in California, just behind restaurant workers. The problem is vastly under-reported. Only a fraction of wage theft violations result in claims and judgments and a smaller number of those judgments are actually paid. It’s important that attorneys taking on these cases first help victimized workers explore the viability of the claim before pursuing it. Continue reading