There have been many reports in the news recently about wage theft lawsuits, with cases often involving workers in poverty, who work for fast food restaurants, transportation companies and day labor outfits.
Sadly, it appears as though many companies have been taking advantage of the current economic climate and labor conditions to pay people less than they are owed, illegally. Remember, in California there are several laws that guarantee your right to payment for work you have performed.
It is illegal for employers to dock your wages below federal and state minimum wage guidelines by working you off the clock. This includes instances where you may be forced to work through your lunch break. If you feel your employer may be robbing you of wages, you should contact our employment attorney immediately.
There are laws designed to protect workers when it comes to overtime. Non-exempt employees should be paid overtime wages, which are time-and-a-half wages for each hour worked over 40 in individual workweeks. If it does not, it may be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Recently, the New York Times had an interesting story about how more workers across the country are filing lawsuits over wage theft. The newspaper interviewed one man, Guadalupe Rangel, who frequently worked more than 70 hours per week unloading trucks for Wal-Mart stores, through Schneider, a national trucking company.
Rangel claims that even though he often worked over 40 hours, he was never paid overtime. Through a class action lawsuit he has joined with hundreds of other workers, Rangel now stands to receive more than $20,000 in back pay.
Can I Seek Back Pay Through a Labor Lawsuit?
Keep in mind, if you are an hourly worker and you have been on the clock for more than 40 hours in a workweek, you may be entitled to overtime and back pay if you did the following:
- Arrived early to work at the request of your employer
- Worked through your lunch break
- Took home work with your employers knowledge
- Are asked to be on call are report to work
Contact our employment attorneys if you suspect that an employer owes you back wages. We can assist you through a lawsuit. We will seek the compensation you are owed for the work you have performed.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys
Did You Know? Schneider recently agreed to a $21 million settlement over allegations of wage theft.