Articles Tagged with wage and hour law

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 ›

Back in November, the U.S. Department of Labor rescinded the controversial Obama-era 80/20 Rule, dictating how restaurants paid tipped workers, barring employers from taking tip credit from workers who spend more than 20 percent of their time doing non-tipped work. Now, Orange County fair wage attorneys understand a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri rejected the DOL’s guidance, finding it “unpersuasive and unworthy.”restaurant worker tips

The judge further stated that the Labor Department’s issuance of an opinion letter abruptly shifting gears on this issue after 10 years of consistently construing such regulation as limited by the 80/20 rule wouldn’t persuade the court to apply a new interpretation of litigation. Noting the DOL gave zero reasoning or evidence of any in-depth consideration for reversing its position, and it doesn’t stand up to the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court, and characterized the November rule change as a “sudden surprise” and an “unjustified departure” from the agency’s previous guidance.

Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 USC s. 201, employers must pay workers at least $2.13 hourly for their wages, then take a tip credit in order to make up the difference between the worker’s wages and federal minimum wage. The 80/20 rule arose because tipped workers were spending an extensive amount of time carrying out non-tip-generating duties, like rolling silverware or setting tables. The updated guidance from the DOL was that the agency was no longer going to limit the amount of time workers could spend performing those duties.  Continue Reading ›

Commercial trucking carrier J.B. Hunt has agreed to pay a $15 million settlement in an employment lawsuit over trucker pay, weeks after the original class of 11,000 was de-certified. Los Angeles wage dispute lawyers following the case recall the firm had sought intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing interstate drivers in California should be exempt from state law mandates on meal and rest breaks.Los Angeles wage dispute attorney

In Ortega v. J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., originally filed more than a decade ago, plaintiffs asserted the commercial trucking company failed to pay drivers in accordance with California wage-and-hour laws. Truck drivers in California (like all other employees) are entitled at minimum to receive 30-minute breaks for every 5 hours in which they work. It was the carrier’s position that a federal law passed in 1994 preempted this requirement by asserting that state statues couldn’t interfere with laws pertaining to interstate trucking.

Wage dispute lawyers in California know that the trucking industry lobbied hard – for years – to pass the Denham Amendment to that 1994 law, which would have effectively voided California’s law and any other state that attempted to pass one similar. Absent that amendment, states have the right to override this provision. The effect in California is that a truck driver over the course of an 11-hour shift would be required to take two, 30-minute breaks. Defendant in this case isn’t the only one to face scrutiny after workers alleged they also were denied state-mandated breaks from their employer. Continue Reading ›

California has some of the best state-level worker protection laws in the country. It’s something Andrew Pudzer always opposed in his adopted state, where the Midwest lawyer moved and succeeded in building up a once-failing fast-food chain.cook

Pudzer, President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of the U.S. Labor Department, was an outspoken critic of the tight workplace regulations in California. These included mandatory rest breaks, which he asserted were unfair particularly in the restaurant industry as he complained it meant businesses were understaffed just as the rush of customers were coming in. He argued that the laws passed to protect hourly workers resulted in a “nanny state,” which he said flew in the face of capitalism.

But Pudzer’s company displayed time and again exactly why laws are needed to protect our workers. Ultimately, his business ended up paying out millions of dollars for class action lawsuits that alleged wage-and-hour theft and other workers’ rights laws. He is CEO of a restaurant group that franchises, licenses and operates several fast-food chains, including Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Continue Reading ›

Businesses in California don’t have keep a running tally of paid time off or vacation hours accrued on worker paychecks or wage statements, according to a new state appeals court ruling. hotel

In Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P., plaintiff alleged employer violated California Labor Code section 226, subdivision (a), by not including the monetary amount of vacation pay/ PTO on employees’ wage statements. A three-judge panel for California’s Fourth Appellate District disagreed, affirming the lower court’s ruling in favor of the company after it was sued by a former worker in 2015.

Plaintiff worked for the hotel chain for almost three years, from 2012 to 2015. A few months after she left the company, she brought a representative Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA) action for a violation of the aforementioned statute. The law says, in part, that every employer shall on a semimonthly basis at the time of payment of wages give each employee an accurate, itemized statement that shows in writing:

  • Gross wages earned;
  • Total hours worked (except those based on salary who are exempt from overtime);
  • Number of piece-rate units earned;
  • All deductions;
  • Net wages earned;
  • Inclusive dates of the period for which employee is paid;
  • The name of employee and last four digits of his/her social security number with wage statements that set forth “all vacation and PTO wages accrued during the applicable pay period.”

Continue Reading ›

McDonald’s Corp. continues to insist it isn’t a joint employer of workers employed by franchise restaurants. Nonetheless, it agreed to pay nearly $4 million to settle a lawsuit over the labor law violations of a franchisee – and it’s a move that has many other large companies sitting uneasy. mcdonalds

Attorneys for 800 workers employed at five different restaurants owned by a single franchisee announced in a federal district court in California that the international fast-food chain, based in Illinois, would pay $1.75 million in back pay to the workers and $2 million in legal fees. The class action lawsuit alleged that McDonald’s, alongside its franchisee, Smith Family LP, was in violation of California labor laws for its:

  • Failure to pay overtime;
  • Failure to maintain accurate records;
  • Failure to reimburse workers for time they spent cleaning their uniforms.

Continue Reading ›

Efforts at both the state and federal level have boosted the level of workplace protection for home health aides, nannies and other domestic workers.elderly

Our Costa Mesa wage and hour attorneys understand that two separate measures will extend minimum wage and overtime protection to these workers, many of whom historically had been treated under the law as little more than “babysitters.”

Advocates for low-wage workers say such measures will go far in ensuring that these workers – primarily female minorities – will be treated equally under the law.

Contact Information