Over the past year, companies settled several large lawsuits involving wage and overtime disputes with their employees. Wal-Mart reached a global $640 million settlement for denying workers rest breaks and manipulating their time cards to reduce their pay. Lawyers brought the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of hourly workers.
UPS recently paid out a $12.8 million settlement for a common, employer mistake of misclassifying independent contractors. Because UPS classified certain employees as independent contracts, the employees were not eligible to receive certain benefits and overtime. About 660 workers were involved in the class action lawsuit, including many who were working for UPS in California.
Attorneys involved in the UPS suit are also involved in a similar case against FedEx. The lead counsel noted how risky it is for employers to misclassify people as independent contractors in order to avoid providing benefits, overtime, and other costs that companies incur when a worker is on their regular payroll. A Los Angeles employment attorney will help you obtain the payment and benefits you have earned when your employer has misclassified you.
Steps To Take To Handle California Wage And Hour Disputes
The best way to ensure that workers know whether employers are taking advantage of them is to be familiar with the law. Many employee protections in California are more expansive than under federal law so it is important for an employee to know his or her rights. Below are some of the areas of employment law with which it is important to be familiar. These laws apply generally, but there are some exceptions depending on employer size and type.
- Employers must pay wages at least twice during a calendar month. They must have a regular payday and post a notice providing the day, time, and location of the payment.
- Employers must pay money that is earned between the 1st and 15th of a month no later than the 26th. They must pay money earned between the 16th and the end of the month no later than seven calendar days of the end of the payroll period during which the employees earn the wages.
- Employers must pay overtime wages that employees earn in a pay period no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period.
- If an employer terminates an employee, the employer must pay him or her all wages owed, including vacation pay, if applicable, at the time of termination.
In these situations, class action lawsuits are important legal tools for employees to right their employers’ wrongs. Because an individual employee may only be missing an hour or two here or there, it is not worth it for him or her to pursue a lawsuit, but by adding these savings together, the employer can be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by breaking the law. Contact a Los Angeles discrimination attorney at the law offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob if you feel you are not receiving the employee benefits or wages to which you are entitled.