Articles Tagged with wage and hour lawsuit

California has long been an economic powerhouse. And while layoffs have been consistently declining since the end of the Great Recession, the reality is some workers are still facing the possibility of being let go. As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, companies in the Golden State that fall under the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act have specific responsibilities – in addition to those offered employees under federal law – to give proper notice to workers and their families in the event of an impending layoff.Orange county employment lawyers

Specifically, affected employees, as well as state and local representatives, are entitled to at least two months (60 days) of advance notice of a plant is closing, relocation or mass layoff. Corporations obligated under this provision are those that employ 75 or more employees – full or part-time. The federal rule for WARN only includes workers who have been with the company at least 6 of the 12 months prior to the date of required notice. If a plant closing or relocation involves 50 or more employees in a 30-day span – regardless of the percentage of that workforce – they need to give notice. (Relocation is defined as any move that is 100 miles away or more). Continue reading

In most California wage and hour employment lawsuits, the entity held accountable by wronged workers is their (sometimes former) employer. Agents of your employer (typically, the owner) are in charge of paying those wages, but generally aren’t deemed responsible if there is a violation of law to do so. In fact, two California Supreme Court decisions in recent years (Reynolds v. Bement and Martinez v. Combs) affirmed this fact. But now, a California appellate court has ruled the lines of liability for unfair wages may not be so black-and-white. It may in fact be possible for supervisors and/or fellow employees deemed responsible to pay both civil penalties and your attorneys’ fees. overtime wage theft L.A.

The case in question, Atempa v. Pedrazzani, before the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, weighed a case filed under the state’s unique Private Attorney General’s Act (allowing wronged workers to sue for labor violations on behalf of the state and keep 25 percent of the verdict or settlement).

Persons Acting on Behalf of Employer Can Be Liable for California Wage Theft Continue reading

A quick internet search reveals dozens of jobs are listed at Amazon’s distribution and fulfillment center in Irvine, California (right here in Orange County) ranging from warehouse fulfillment to Whole Foods Shoppers. But there may be a reason such positions are constantly in rotation. Recently, Business Insider reported more than 200 delivery drivers are suing both Amazon and one of its third-party courier companies, TL Transportation, over claims of wage theft / unpaid wages.wage lawsuit

Orange County employment law attorneys have seen allegations of labor law violations by employees and designated independent contractors for the e-commerce giant and its partners piling up in recent years. Plaintiff lawyers say the company is using third-party contractors for its delivery posts in order to avoid legal liability for violations of state wage and hour laws. Third-party courier firms like TL, plaintiffs say, are tiny and thinly-capitalized, meaning they are unable to pay up when workers are cheated of rightful wages and mandated work breaks.

Just last month, a federal judge ruled this third-party courier’s pay system – which involved a flat rate for all delivery drivers, regardless of hours worked – failed to pay drivers properly, particularly with regard to overtime hours. It’s unclear precisely what Amazon’s liability will be in this, but our employee rights attorneys understand the class action lawsuit seeks to hold both firms accountable for willfully crafting an employment and pay structure that skirts labor laws and skimps on rightful pay. Continue reading

A janitorial company in Anaheim is being sued by the state of California for allegedly paying some 150 works just $400 monthly in wages over the past four years. As the Orange County Register reports, that is far below the minimum wage, which is why California Attorney General Xavier Becerra reports the firm has become a top priority for his office.wage and hour theft

The janitorial firm reportedly serves an estimated 80 major retailers throughout Southern California, including Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory and JoAnne’s Fabrics. These retailers, however, are not accused of any wrongdoing because they contract the work to a Pennsylvania-based firm that specializes in subcontracting such services. As our employment law attorneys can explain, this kind of subcontracting arrangement is typical in the retail sector as well as others, as it shields them from wage-and-hour lawsuits. Wage theft and other claims are common in these industries, and affected workers range from janitors (as in this case) to garment workers.

But while the retailers did not directly employ the workers, Becerra was quoted by the Register as saying he hopes the lawsuit puts large retailers and other firms on notice about such practices. Even if workers aren’t getting a paycheck from the retailer, they are still working within their facilities and in furtherance of their business, and that may be grounds to establish some level of responsibility. Continue reading

Mistreatment of immigrant employees unfortunately happens all too often, as some employers take advantage of workers’ lack of English skills and fear of potential deportation. Holding these firms accountable for such discrimination is a primary goal of our L.A. employment discrimination lawyers. employment discrimination

One’s immigration status or language skills should have no bearing on the way a company treats its workers.

Recently in Illinois, two restaurants and an employment agency were ordered to pay nearly $215,000 in back wages and penalties to a number of immigrant workers who were both mistreated and underpaid. Defendants in the matter – a sushi restaurant, a hibachi restaurant and an employment agency in Chinatown – are all expected to abide the consent decree. A judge will be in charge of overseeing the execution of the settlement, which partly requires the businesses to make a notable change in their employment practices.  Continue reading

An exotic dancer wishing to pursue a class action wage-and-hour lawsuit against her former employer will not be compelled to arbitrate her claim – despite previously signing an arbitration agreement prior to employment.wage and hour lawyer

According to the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the arbitration clause plaintiff signed is not applicable to a proposed class action that asserts the strip club employer misclassified dancers as independent contractors rather than employees. In a unanimous ruling, justices determined the agreement was only applicable for claims that arose under her employment agreement – not statutory claims such as a wage-and-hour lawsuit.

Misclassification of workers is a serious and ongoing problem, leading to workers being underpaid and denied many important benefits of employment. Misclassification involves the practice of labeling workers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. The benefit for employers with this, as noted by the National Conference of State Legislatures, is they avoid paying unemployment and other taxes on workers, and also from covering them on workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment insurance.  Continue reading

A yoga company has agreed to settle claims of unfair wages and failure to meet minimum wage obligations for $1.65 million, according to Bloomberg, which detailed the proposed settlement.yoga

The case, before the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, stemmed from allegations by students that they were paid to clean the studios in exchange for free or discounted memberships.

The situation sheds light on how “bartering” can be inherently unfair to one side, and also legally pretty tricky. There is no provision of state or federal law that allows companies to draw up minimum wage obligations with in-kind payments, like the ones extended by this studio. Employees must be paid at least the minimum wage.  Continue reading

Workers hired to clean up asbestos are dealing with one of the most dangerous substances in the world. Asbestos exposure is known to cause latent diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. These conditions can be aggressive and, in the case of mesothelioma, is terminal. The substance was used in so many building and construction materials in the last century, and its removal in renovation and demolition requires specially-trained crews who must be meticulous in their safety precautions.asbestos

Now, prosecutors are alleging that a group of these workers was denied proper wages and benefits. The case is emerging from the Boston, Mass. area, where many of the older buildings are riddled with these cancerous fibers. The region is going through a construction and renovation boom, and that means asbestos removal and demolition contractors are very busy right now. But the U.S. Justice Department asserts that is no excuse for cutting corners when it comes to workers’ wages.

Asbestos abatement jobs in the state totaled nearly 26,000 last year, which was a 65 percent uptick just over what it was five years ago. This boom will continue so long as renovations and demolitions of older structures continue.  Continue reading

When we see a product that says, “Made in the USA,” we assume that means the workers who brought that product into being were treated and paid fairly. But unfortunately, as a recent study by the U.S. Department of Labor reveals, that is not necessarily true – especially if the product we’re talking about is clothing made in L.A. sewing

The report notes that there are more than 40,000 people – mostly immigrant women – who work in clothing factors to the east and south of downtown Los Angeles. The U.S. Labor Department’s report indicates that many of those workers are paid far less than what they are legally entitled to receive. The government agency says long hours by workers typically don’t amount to overtime, as required by federal law for any worker who toils more than 40 hours weekly. Additionally, some worker are paid by the piece, which means they sometimes earn far less than even minimum wage. In some cases, factors, including TJ Maxx, Forever 21 and Ross, are paying worker as little as $3 an hour for their work.

The report indicated that 85 percent of the garment industry companies studied were in violation of federal record keeping and minimum wage laws. There were more than 660 investigations that involved some 5,160 workers over the course of three years. That amounted to an estimated $8.1 million in stolen wages. Continue reading

Donald Trump will be officially sworn into office in just two days. On that very same day, Senate committees will either vote to approve his top cabinet nominees or vote to advance the appointment to the full Senate. Other nominees may be considered in the following days. One of those will be fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, who has been a vocal critic of increases in minimum wage and an opponent of rules that would make more workers eligible to receive overtime pay. Trump has nominated him to serve as Secretary of the Labor Department. executive

Puzder is the CEO of CKE restaurants, which is the parent company that oversees burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. He is a staunch supporter of lowering corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy, as well as loosening regulations for businesses in the hopes of job creation. He also strongly opposes the Affordable Care Act.

Now for some, these all sound like good ideas. For others, the fear is they will collectively be disastrous for the average American worker. But no matter where you stand on the political aisle, it should be of some concern that Puzder, who will be in charge of enforcing the Department of Labor’s rules, was a violator of those rules not so very long ago.  Continue reading