Wage and Hour Claims Can Help Employees Secure Their Rights

March 25, 2012  

As California injury lawyers, we have helped many employees secure the wages and other benefits to which they are entitled. Regardless of the size of your employer's business, you might be entitled to recover minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest breaks, prompt payment of wages, detailed wage statements and reimbursement.

Often employees discover that they have been misclassified in their employment as "independent contractors" or as employees "exempt" from wage and hour protections. This is practice that employers use to avoid payment of wages and benefits to which employees are entitled.

Recent successes should give employees some hope that they can recover what the law allows in their employment. For example, our law firm helped secure a $1.5 million settlement in two related cases where a company refused to pay termite inspectors overtime or provide meal and rest breaks.

Under California law, wage and hour obligations vary depending on the status of the employee. That is why some employers seek to avoid their wage and hour obligation by claiming that an employee is an independent contractor, exempt outside salesperson, administrative assistant, professional or executive.

But there are very specific requirements that have to be met in order for an employer to classify an employee as an independent contractor or exempt employee. Sometimes, employers misclassify their employees in violation of the law, in the hope that they will not contest the classification. But getting help from experts can lead to recovery of wages that should have been paid.

Another area in which employers might not comply with the law is in the guaranteed minimum wage which is mandated both by the federal, state and sometimes the local law. This area of compliance can be difficult for the employee to uncover when an hourly wage is not obvious. However, experts can help employees determine their actual minimum wage and seek recovery from employers who are not paying what is due.

Another very important area of compliance is the protection that employees work only mandated hours. When certain employees are asked to work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week, they might well be entitled to premium overtime pay. Employees are also entitled to meal and rest periods throughout their work day.

If you have any questions about your wages, classification or other employment concerns, please contact the San Francisco employee rights law firm of Hersh & Hersh. With over four decades of experience in supporting consumers, the injured and employees who have been harmed by their employers, we can help. Contact our law offices for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.