Articles Tagged with wage and hour law

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.”

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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.

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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.