WAGE & HOUR
An employer’s failure to pay wages due, overtime compensation or minimum wage. Also includes misclassification of employees as exempt from the payment of overtime or as independent contractors.
It seems certain industries, including but not limited to car dealerships, engage in rampant wage and hour violations. For example, many dealerships deliberately modify financial details of a car deal to minimize the gross profits (front and back) from the sale and thereby rob Salespersons, Sales Managers and Finance Managers of their commissions.
Employers across many industries sometimes pressure employees to perform important tasks by a certain deadline while reminding them that the company does not allow overtime. So the implied message is the employee should punch out at the end of their 8 hour shift but then continue working off the clock to complete the assignment
Did you know that the California Supreme Court, recognizing this pressure, has ruled that employers must pay overtime they know employees have worked, even if the employer neither requested nor approved the overtime? An employer can discipline an employee for working unauthorized overtime but it is against the law for the employer to refuse to pay for the overtime hours worked.
Another issue that often comes up in terms of wage and hour claims are employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors. Employers sometimes legitimately hire workers as independent contractors to give the workers more freedom to work when they choose, how they choose and for whomever they choose. But in some situations employers label workers independent contractors (and thereby avoid paying them for hours spent in training, paying overtime compensation or having to provide meal or rest breaks) when they actually qualify as employees. There are a number of factors courts look at when deciding whether a worker is properly classified as an employee versus an independent contractor but the most important factor of all is whether the employer retains for itself the right to control the manner in which the worker provides services.
Please contact me with any questions you have about how you are compensated on your job.