Los Angeles Wage & Hour Claims Attorneys
Protecting the rights of employees facing employment disputes throughout California
You are a dedicated employee who always shows up at work on time and strives to do a great job for your employer; however, you have worked several long months of overtime shifts and you were never paid for them. When you brought up the issue of unpaid wages, you received a stern warning and felt intimidated to bring the issue up again. What can you do?
Fortunately, you are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which provides a remedy for employees who are owed unpaid wages from their employer. You have the right to be properly compensated for every hour you work. The FLSA is in place to protect workers from being taken advantage of by their employer and there are penalties for employers who refuse to pay the money owed to their employees.
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP can help navigate the often complex California employment laws and ensure you understand your rights as an employee. We are focused on obtaining successful resolutions for clients, and our attorneys believe in holding employers accountable for violating employment laws. You can rely on a firm that has been winning employment dispute cases for more than 30 years. Schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.
California state wage and hour laws
The California Labor Laws, which apply to wage and hour claims, include California Labor Code sec. 500-558, which covers the following and many other topics pertaining to employment:
- Minimum wage
- Meals and breaks
- Vacation leave
- Sick leave
- Holiday leave
- Jury duty leave
- Voting leave
- Severance pay
Regardless of the size of the company, if it has employees, there should be an employee handbook in place which clarifies company policies.
What is wage theft?
The UCLA Labor Center’s piece, “What is Wage Theft?” defines wage theft as the illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work, including violating minimum wage laws, not paying overtime, forcing workers to work off the clock and much more. This is a major problem in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California.
The UCLA Labor Center cites the following statistics
- At $26.2 million in wage theft violations every week, Los Angeles could be called the wage theft capital of the United States.
- About eight out of ten Los Angeles workers experience wage theft.
- Wage theft and discrimination go hand in hand. Women and workers of color face higher rates of wage theft than other groups.
Examples of wage and hour dispute claims
The FLSA and state laws were put in place to protect employers from exploiting workers. The following are a few examples of typical disputes that our Los Angeles wage and hour dispute attorneys handle:
- Employee misclassification
- Failure to pay overtime
- Forbidding employees from taking meal and rest breaks
- Failure to pay the legally required minimum wage
- Illegal paycheck deductions
- Requiring employees to work off the clock
- Donning and doffing claims (putting on and removing work-related protective gear, clothing, and uniforms)
- Failure to pay sales commissions, tips and other owed wages
- Failure to pay an employee’s wages upon termination
Which California industries have the most wage and hour violations?
The Department of Labor and the California Division of Labor Standards track wage and hour violations, and the following industries were found to regularly not be in compliance with employment laws and regulations:
- Auto repair
- Car washes
- Garment manufacturers
- Security guard services
How do I initiate a wage and hour claim?
If you are thinking about filing a wage claim, you should consult with a Los Angeles employment dispute attorney to learn about your legal options. You may end up filing a claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), filing a lawsuit in court or filing a wage claim with a federal agency, depending on the facts of your case.
How much does it cost to hire a Los Angeles employment dispute lawyer to represent me?
Many lawyers who take employment dispute cases accept the cases on contingency, which means that instead of charging clients an initial retainer, they receive a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount, which varies depending on the law firm and its location. A contingency fee arrangement makes it possible for an employee to be represented by a lawyer without being required to pay up front.
Additionally, depending on the details of your claim, one of the penalties that an employer may be required to pay is the employee’s legal fees. If you prevail, the legal fees awarded would be included in your recovery.
If I file a wage and hour claim, can my employer retaliate against me?
The law protects workers who have filed a wage and hour claim or lawsuit from retaliation by their employer. If an employer decides to reduce hours, demote, assign undesirable shifts or give negative performance reviews out of vindictiveness, the employee may be able to file a separate action for the retaliation.
What damages are available for a wage and hour claim case?
Under the FLSA, an employer might be required to pay what is called "liquidated damages," which could be double the amount owed to the employee.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wage and hour claim?
Under the FLSA, an employee has two years to file a claim for underpaid or unpaid wages; however, there can be different statutes of limitations that apply depending on the facts of your case. In California, if your dispute is about unpaid overtime, you have three years from the date of the unpaid overtime to bring a claim. There are additional legal theories which may apply to further extend the statute of limitations. The experienced Los Angeles wage and hour dispute lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP have extensive knowledge of the intricacies of state and federal employment law, and we are here to advocate for your best interests.
Work with an accomplished team of LA lawyers for your wage and hour claim
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP understands filing a lawsuit against a current or former employer can be stressful and confusing. Our experienced Los Angeles wage and hour attorneys are here to fight for you. Call our office at 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form today to discuss your case confidentially.