Thursday, August 1, 2013

Understanding the Various California Labor Law Violations

Employees working for employers that operate their businesses in the State of California are entitled to their rights, especially with regard to matters concerning the state’s labor laws. To begin with, California has one of the most protective labor laws, and as such, every employer is expected to provide their employees the right and complete minimum and overtime wages, meal and rest breaks, vacation and medical leaves, and the right to claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Incurring a violation of labor law in California would immediately put employers at a disadvantage if ever they have been found to have subjected their employees to such unlawful practices, not to mention the fact that they may face stiff penalties.

For the most part, employers may have to face claims of labor law violations against their employees. However, some employees try to initiate the claims on their own, which is difficult and tedious to begin with because of the underlying complexities of the legal process. Also, employers perceived to be engaging in practices that violate the state’s labor laws have enough resources to hire legal representation in order to delay and consequently dismiss the advancement of their aggrieved employees’ claims. If you have been in such a dilemma where you have been taken advantage of by your employer you think violates any of the provisions of the labor laws in California, it is important that you also assert your rights, especially when it comes to obtaining representation from an expert labor law attorney. Whether you have been denied the right to receive complete minimum and overtime wages, take advantage of meal breaks and rest periods, leaves, or file workers’ compensation claims, then you must strongly consider seeking the expertise of the top labor law attorney in California who can aggressively pursue and effectively handle your claim against your erring employer.

Various California labor law violations

The important provisions that make up the labor structure of California can be found in various legislation such as the state’s Labor Code. Despite this, employers covered by the labor laws still commit certain violations, at the expense of aggrieved employees. Basically, an employment and labor law violation in California can be any one of the following:

·         Minimum wage and overtime violations. The state’s minimum wage currently stands at $8.00 per hour. Whether you are working full-time, part-time, or on a piece or commission basis, you are still entitled to the minimum wage. Likewise, if you are a nonexempt employee, your employer must provide you overtime wages, which is one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for every hour worked beyond the eight-hour workday or beyond the 40-hour workweek. However, some employers are not responsible enough to pay their employees the minimum and overtime wages on time/completely.

·         Meal and rest break violations. California labor laws provide that employers must give their employee meal and rest breaks depending on the latter’s working hours. For example, if you have been working for more than 5 hours in a single workday, you are entitled to one 30-minute meal period. “On-duty” meal breaks must not be deducted from your payroll. With regard to rest periods, you are entitled to a 10-minute break for every 4 hours you’ve worked. A penalty of an additional hour of pay at a regular rate must be given to you by your employer for every day it failed to provide you a meal or rest break.

·         Employee misclassifications. If you are technically a non-exempt (hourly-paid) employee but you have been classified as exempt (salary-paid) employee, then it is possible that your employer is trying to save on expenses, therefore depriving you of receiving overtime and other wages.

·         Violations in record keeping. It is every California employer’s duty and responsibility to maintain employee records, particularly on wage and hour matters such as hours worked, work history, and other wage records. These must be kept for at least two years for inspection purposes. If an employer is found to have been violating any labor law violations, then it is possible that its employee records may serve as evidence, especially if aggrieved employees file claims against the employer.

Other unlawful and deceptive labor practices that some California employers commit include wrongful deductions from wages, violating company rules on tipping in restaurants, casinos, and the like; failing to pay past due sales commissions, earned vacation time, and all due wages upon an employee’s termination or layoff. If ever you have been subjected to any of these labor law-bending violations by your employer, you must know that you are entitled to your right to file a claim against it. In order to obtain any lost wages and other compensation for the damages you incurred, it would be best if you hire the best Los Angeles employment and labor law attorney.

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