Unpaid Wages Lawyer

Lawyers Who Can Help with an Unpaid Wage Claim

It happens all the time in the workplace. An employer asks their employees to execute one more task after they have already clocked out. Or maybe an employee us asked to run an errand before their shift starts. These errands are an example of unpaid wages.

Unpaid work can seem small, but in accordance with California law, an employee should be properly paid for all the work they complete. Any unpaid wages for work completed is considered wage theft. And it’s illegal.

However, Lawyers for Justice, PC fights against lost wages for their clients. LFJ is an employment law firm that has been representing employees for over a decade and ensures they receive proper compensation and receive overtime pay, if necessary, from their employers.

When it comes to California Labor Law, All Work Time Counts

Think of it this way: when an employee works for a California employer, they’re basically agreeing to sell a certain amount of their time in exchange for an agreed-upon hourly rate. Since the wage is already agreed upon, the one thing a bully boss might be able to do is refuse to pay an employee overtime pay or refute how many hours their employees actually work.

If an employee experiences an employer treating them in this manner, they could have an unpaid wage claim on their hands. This is also considered wage theft.

Wage theft includes:

  • Failure to pay overtime wages
  • Failure to pay all wages owed, even for time that an employee worked off the clock.
  • Requiring employees to record their scheduled hours instead of the actual hours they work
  • Requiring employees to come in before the start of their scheduled shift so they could be at your station ready to work at their exact scheduled start time.
  • Requiring employees to wait in line to clock in.
  • Requiring employees to go through a security check before clocking in.
  • Requiring employees to don their uniforms and other PPE before clocking in.
  • Requiring employees to engage in pre-shift huddles or meetings off the clock.
  • Requiring employees to engage in calisthenics or exercises before clocking in.
  • Placing unreasonable expectations and unrealistic goals.
  • Forcing employees to work off the clock.
  • Requiring employees to answer telephone calls or reply to emails before or after their shift, off the clock.
  • Requiring employees to work during their meal periods, off the clock.
  • Employers failing to approve overtime so employees could work off the clock to complete their daily tasks.
  • Burdening employees with unreasonable deadlines, which force them to work off the clock to complete time-sensitive tasks.
  • Requiring employees to travel to a location other than their normal work site, off the clock.

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement defines “hours worked” as “the time during which an employee is subject to the control of an employer – including all of the time the employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.”

Recent unpaid wage court cases have made it clear that a wage claim can include even the few minutes it takes to lock up a place of business store and set an alarm system after clocking out. Unpaid wages may also include the time spent going through mandatory bag checks on the way into or out of work. It generally includes the time it takes to put on or take off mandatory, essential protective gear, otherwise known as donning and doffing.

Unpaid wages may include “on-call time,” where a worker is required to carry a beeper or cell phone (even if the worker is asleep). unpaid wages may also include “rounding errors” when the employer’s time-keeping program rounds time down to the nearest ten or fifteen minutes.

Work Does Not Always Have to be Pre-Approved to Be Paid

Unpaid wages can accrue for time that is not pre-approved. For example; a conscientious worker could put in a little extra time to finish up a task that took less time to finish than anticipated. However, an unpaid wage scenario can also be more sinister. Rather than have an employee go the extra mile to go a good job, an employer could try to coerce off-the-clock work (which is an example of unpaid wages) with threats or more subtle pressure.

In both situations, the employee deserve to be paid. An unpaid wages lawyer, or specialty law firm that handles wage and hour claims, like Lawyers for Justice, PC can help navigate the confusion surrounding a wage claim.

How an Employee Can Protect Themselves from California Unpaid Wages

Before contacting an unpaid wages lawyer, one of the most important steps a worker can take is to keep track of their own time and compare it to their pay stubs. Most honest employers will fix a problem if there is one.

But employees have other resources, too, especially wage and hour issues are chronic. They can talk to an off-the-clock work unpaid wages attorney about the fair labor standards act and the federal law that protects their rights as employees. Proper legal counsel will advise a strategy and discuss next steps, which can include an off-the-clock work lawsuit. The experienced employment law attorney team at Lawyers for Justice, PC, works on a contingency fee basis and is a powerful voice in California labor law. Each employment lawyer on the team can review every specific situation and its various nuances to provide assistance.

Unpaid Wages & Overtime Lawyers

Lawyers for Justice, PC’s wage and hour law firm assigns a talented employment lawyer to each and every case it accepts. The firm has successfully won numerous unpaid overtime, workers’ compensation, and minimum wage disputes throughout California. Each employment lawyer at LFJ is dedicated to working for the people and upholding the state and federal law that protects them. Our clients are hardworking minimum wage or hourly workers who are underpaid or have been harmed – emotionally or physically – in the course of their work.

California Unpaid Wages Attorney

Under the Fair Employment and Labor Standards Act, employers can recover wages from employers who claim owe them compensation – which means at least minimum wage. But can an employee sue a job that hasn’t paid them? California employers can face civil repercussions if employees aren’t paid properly – which includes insuring they are paid minimum wage. Furthermore, under California labor law, employees must be paid promptly.

Is There a Difference Between Wage Theft and Overtime Compensation in California?

California provides an hourly compensation system to ensure that all employees receive proper compensation for their hours. Besides the commissions the employees receive overtime pay as well as regular pay. Wage theft is a term covering many areas in the employee-employee relationship in which the employee did not receive adequate compensation. Wage theft occurs in almost any industry but it happens when workers’ wages have been a serious business in California and state governments have vehemently safeguarded the wages of their workers.

How Do Minimum Wage Violations Play a Part?

You need a lawyer to help you decide if your wage claim is worth pursuing. Employers are expected to pay minimum wage rates to their workers. Payment for wages is regulated by federal laws and regulations in each state. Tipped workers in each state, however, have different laws. Calculating minimum wage claims may be difficult for someone working for tips or receiving a commission, but that doesn’t mean tipped employees should be taken advantage of. If an employer isn’t paying their workers in full, it’s important to contact an employment attorney who could help recoup those lost wages during a given pay period.

Unpaid Wage Claims in California

A California unpaid wages settlement amount varies by geographical location. In most cases, a California unpaid wage claim has a statute of limitations for California wage and hour lawsuits of three  years from the date of the most recent violation. The employment attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC enforce the California wage and hour law, which allows for minimum wage and mandatory overtime pay for non-exempt employees. If an employer does not pay their employees for all the work they perform, then that employer may owe their employee money for unpaid wages in a wage and hour lawsuit.

Unpaid Wage Claims in California


Contact Lawyers for Justice, PC Today for a Free Consultation

If you feel you’ve been denied wages, contact Lawyers for Justice, PC. The firm knows the all the ins and outs of the legal process and how to fight unpaid wage claims. The employment lawyer team at LFJ puts a high emphasis on attorney client relationship because they care about all California workers. LFJ’s attorneys will determine if your employer violated a federal or state law. To get started, call (818) 647-9323 and receive a free consultation, today.

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