Los Angeles Wage and Hour Lawyer

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Employees in California have the right to compensation if their employers aren’t complying with the state’s laws. Lawyers for Justice, PC’s wage and hour attorneys are here to help; you have every right to consult with a California wage and hour attorney if you believe your employer has violated the state labor code.

Wage theft is illegal and California has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to wage and hour violations. If any employee feels they have experienced wage theft, they should contact a Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer as soon as possible. 

A Los Angeles Wage and Hour Lawyer You Can Trust

When you’re fighting for your livelihood, you need a legal representative who’s dependable as well as qualified. Here’s why Los Angeles employees can feel confident relying on Lawyers for Justice, PC, for help with wage and hour disputes:

  • We are proud to be a plaintiff firm that exclusively represents California employees, not corporations;
  • We have over a decade of experience as aggressive litigators who know the strategies that get employees positive results;
  • We have a large and seasoned legal team with the resources to tackle complex issues that smaller firms can’t; and
  • We prioritize making high-quality legal representation accessible to all—which means no up-front fees for our services. 

We have extensive experience with many forms of wage and hour disputes that employees face. If you’re concerned about your unpaid wages, contact our office today to speak to an attorney. Your initial consultation is always free.

Wage and Hour Law In California 

California labor laws were implemented to make sure wage and hour employees are treated fairly by employers and receive minimum wage, overtime pay, rest breaks, and meal breaks.

When an employer violates wage and hour laws, their employees are the ones who suffer. California workers may suffer loss of income, job termination, wage theft, and other negative consequences. Los Angeles wage and hour workers can face even more deleterious consequences when they report wage and hour violations, or a wage and hour dispute, to their supervisor, including illegal workplace retaliation. 

All employers must pay fair wages to their workers — at least minimum wage, of course— and follow the federal and California laws regarding meal breaks, rest breaks, and overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that a Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer helps enforce to ensure California workers are treated fairly.

Beyond the FLSA, Los Angeles employees are also protected by California laws. The state’s labor laws offer additional protections against wage theft, unsafe working hours, and other violations of employee rights.

Wage And Hour Claim Examples 

There are a few examples of a wage and hour dispute. 

Unpaid Overtime

Under the California labor code, overtime compensation is mandatory for employees and includes a rate of one-and-one-half times the amount of their normal wage for every hour of overtime. Overtime pay refers to time worked that exceeds 8 hours in a day or 40 hours per week. 

If an employee was forced to work in excess of 40 hours in a 7-day period and only received a normal hourly wage, they may be entitled to back pay, as those unpaid wages constitute wage and hour violations. 

Minimum Wage Violations

If an employer is not paying workers at least the state minimum wage, their employees can sue for minimum wage and hour violations. 

Unpaid Meals and/or Rest Break

According to the FLSA, all employees are entitled to one 30-minute, unpaid meal break after having worked 5 hours. Employee rights under FLSA dictate that no worker can work more than 10 hours per day without a second 30-minute break. 

If a workplace is especially busy, employers may request that their employees work through meal and rest breaks. If an employer forces employees to work through breaks and is aware of it, an employee is entitled to hire a wage and hour lawyer to help them file a wage and hour claim against the employer. 

Misclassifying Employees

Some employers violate California wage and hour laws to avoid paying their workers adequately. When an employer is misclassifying employees, they will sometimes claim they are independent contractors to avoid paying them overtime wages, minimum wages, and proper meal periods and rest periods. 

Reimbursements & Travel

Some employers will count work travel as unpaid when the employee is traveling. However, all employees are entitled to be compensated for their time spent traveling for business. Failure to do so could result in a wage and hour claim against the employer. 

Unpaid Wages for Trainings & Meetings

Employees are entitled to be paid for time spent in all company trainings and gatherings or meetings. 

A Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer will have more information on all the wage and hour violations an employee should look out for. Call LFJ for more details. (818) 647-9323 

Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer

What Can I Do About Wage and Hour Disputes in California?

There are two main ways that California employees can try to recover unpaid wages: filing a claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or suing an employer in civil court.

How to File a Wage and Hour Claim in California

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office is responsible for enforcing employee fair wage and hour laws. If your employer is denying you pay or violating wage- and hour-related laws, you can report them to the Labor Commissioner by filing a claim online.

In your claim, explain in detail how your employer is illegally withholding wages and provide documentation supporting your case. The Labor Commissioner’s Office will review your complaint and decide whether to investigate. If they agree that your employer has violated wage laws, they may take action to help you resolve your claim. 

Eligibility and Deadlines

There are certain requirements to file wage and hour disputes in California. First, you must be an employee to fall under the Labor Commissioner’s jurisdiction. State wage and hour laws don’t apply to independent contractors. 

It’s also important to make sure that you don’t wait too long to file your claim.

When a wage claim is filed by a wage and hour attorney, the Labor Commissioner’s Office investigates the claim. However, it is up to the plaintiff to reach out to an attorney to file wage and hour claims in a timely manner, which means: 

  • Within one year if they received a check that bounced or were rejected from their request to access their payroll or personnel records; 
  • Within two years of a verbal promise for a minimum wage pay increase; 
  • Within three years for wage and hour violations like: minimum wage issues, unpaid overtime, and other unpaid wages; and
  • Within four years for a written contract. 

A wage and hour attorney can help move wage and hour disputes along. An employee should assist their wage and hour claims by providing an attorney information about their employer and other responsible parties, a record of all their hours worked, and copies of their pay stubs. 

How to Sue for Unpaid Wages in California

Employees also have the option of filing a lawsuit against their employer for violations of California’s wage and hour laws. Bringing a suit with the help of a wage and hour attorney can offer employees a faster process for addressing their dispute with an employer than going through the Labor Commissioner.

Employees who can successfully prove that an employer cheated them out of wages can win compensation for lost pay, interest, and attorney fees. In most cases, the deadline for filing a lawsuit for wage and hour violations in California is three years after the violation occurred.

Is Wage Theft A Crime? – FAQ 

How Do I Deal with an Employer Who Won’t Pay? 

If an employer will not respond to an employee’s workplace concerns, they can hire a wage and hour lawyer to file wage and hour claims on their behalf. An attorney will uphold the laws of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

How Do I Recover Unpaid Wages? 

The best option to recover unpaid wages is to call for a free consultation with a Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer. Wage and hour lawyers will fight for employees to ensure they get the compensation they deserve. 

What Can I Do If an Employer Owes Me Money? 

Keep a record of the instances in which any rest or meal breaks were not paid or business expenses were not reimbursed. Then call Lawyers for Justice so the law firm can help. (818) 647-9323 

Can I Sue for Not Being Paid on Time? 

Yes. An employee who is owed wages can file a lawsuit against their employer to recover what they are owed, in addition to other damages. 

Can My Employer Not Pay Me for Hours Worked? 

An employer must pay their employees for all the time they put into working for their company. Failure to do so could result in legal action. 

What to Do If a Job Never Paid You? 

If an employee was not paid for their work time at any business, they can demand to be compensated for the money they are owed by holding employers accountable. 

Is Wage Theft a Crime? 

In short, yes. Most of California’s wage theft cases are handled by an employer reimbursing employees for what they are owed, plus some additional legal fees. Criminal charges that include jail time for wage theft are rarely filed based on that infraction alone.

Why Contact a Wage and Hour Attorney

You aren’t required to have a lawyer to file a wage claim and try to win back your unpaid wages. However, it’s usually in your best interest to contact a wage and hour attorney anyway. For one, wage laws are complex. Your wage claim could involve overlapping federal, state, and even local labor laws, each of which has different requirements and deadlines for taking action.

A Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid claim and which laws apply to your case. An attorney can also provide assistance in gathering the documentation needed to make an accurate estimate of the wages you’re owed.

At Lawyers for Justice, PC, we’ve spent over a decade helping Los Angeles employees exercise their rights to fair pay. Our seasoned attorneys can provide valuable legal advice and personal support at each step in the process of filing a wage claim or lawsuit. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with a legal representative to learn more about your options.

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