Talk to an Experienced Employment Attorney About Your Claim for Unpaid Overtime or Other Wages
Orange County Employment Law Firm is a boutique law firm in Irvine that specializes in helping employees throughout Orange County recover money from their employers. We are passionate about employee rights and work with clients from a broad range of industries and in a variety of positions, from day laborers, factory workers, and line cooks to top-level executive officers. If you are represented by us, you can expect a personalized experience specifically tailored to your needs—something not often found at big law firms. We will strive to get you the maximum compensation you are owed, and there’s no fee unless we win your case.
Overtime Wage Law in California
All California employers are required by law to pay their employees at one-and-half times (1.5) their hourly rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. For example, an employee who makes $12 per hour is owed $18 for each hour worked in excess of eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Further, employers must pay employees double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Common Questions About Overtime:
I am paid a salary. Does this mean I am not eligible for overtime pay?
Not necessarily. Employers often attempt to avoid paying overtime by misclassifying an employee’s position as salaried. There are five narrow exceptions to the overtime rule:
- Sales and
- Computer professional
It should be noted that the majority of employees in California do not fit in to any of these categories.
No matter how much I work, my employer only records 40 hours. Is this legal?
Probably not. If you do not fall into one of the exemptions listed above (which most employees in California do not) and your employer only records/pays you for 40 hours per week even though you typically work more than 40 hours, you may be entitled to recover those lost wages. It helps if you have kept records of how much you have actually worked, but is not necessarily required. A simple approximation of how many overtime hours you worked is often sufficient. California requires that employers accurately record how many hours their employees worked, and the law will side with aggrieved employees when employers have failed to do so.
California Minimum Wage Law
As of January 1, 2019 the minimum wage in California is $12 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $11 per hour for employers with 25 or less employees, as reported by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Employers violate the California Minimum Wage law by paying employees less than minimum wage or by not paying employees for all of the hours they have worked. Employers who fail to pay their employees the minimum wage are subject to substantial penalties and employees may be able to recover the difference in wages of what they were paid and the California minimum wage.
Tips and Gratuity Laws in California
California law prohibits employers and their agents from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for or given to one or more employees by a patron. Furthermore it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee’s wages. The law further states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given.
Some employers withhold tips and gratuity that was rightfully earned by their employees. This is most often the case in situations where tips and gratuity are included in a credit card or debit card transaction. If your employer is illegally withholding your tips or gratuity, you are likely entitled to recover those wages.
Unpaid Vacation Time
There is no legal requirement in California that an employer provide its employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if an employer does have an established policy, practice, or agreement to provide paid vacation, then those vacation hours accrued by the employee are considered wages and are not revocable by an employer, even after termination, regardless of the reason for termination. Upon separation for any reason, employers must pay their employees for all vacation hours accrued over the course of employment.
Employers will sometimes violate California’s paid vacation laws by implementing illegal “use it or lose it” policies. Such policies typically require employees to use their annually-accrued vacation hours by the end of the year that they were accrued or lose them altogether. These practices are illegal, and you may be entitled to recover those wages if you have been subjected to such practices by your employer.
Call Orange County Employment Law Firm today for a free consultation with an employment attorney that has expertise in recovering unpaid overtime, vacation time, tips, and other wages.