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Los Angeles Wage and Hour Lawyer

Wage and hour laws exist to make sure employers treat and compensate employees fairly. When an employer breaks a wage or hour law, the employee can suffer loss of income, job termination, and other adverse effects. Matters can get worse for the employee when he or she reports wage and hour infractions. The employee might then face unlawful retaliation and compensation disputes.

If this sounds familiar, the attorneys at The Law Office of Omid Nosrati can help. Wage and Hour Dispute Attorney Omid Nosrati and his team have over 20 years of combined experience fighting for employee rights in Los Angeles and understand the complexity of wage and hour laws.

Best Los Angeles Wage and Hour Lawyer

Our Attorneys Handle All Types of Wage and Hour Claims in Los Angeles, CA

The Law Office of Omid Nosrati handles all manner of wage and hour disputes, including:

  • Denying Overtime pay
  • Vacation pay
  • Misclassification of employees to avoid paying overtime or having to cover workers’ compensation or unemployment insurance
  • Independent contractors
  • Requiring employees to work “off-the-clock”
  • Failing to provide rest and meal breaks
  • Severance pay
  • Forcing employees to be “on-call” without pay
  • Minimum wage violations
  • Taking illegal deductions from employee paychecks
  • Requiring employees to pay business expenses or not reimbursing required expenses
  • Unpaid bonuses outlined in a contract

Wage and Hour Laws in California

California employers must abide by both federal and state wage and hour laws when conducting business. The main federal law is the Fair Labor Standards Act, or the FLSA. The FLSA establishes a minimum wage, overtime, and child labor laws affecting all employees. The FLSA, along with a few state-specific wage and hour laws, help protect the health and safety of workers. Three of the most important wage and hour laws affecting California employees are as follows:

  • Minimum wage

    • The minimum wage in California has been rising annually by one dollar per hour since January 2019. The current hourly minimum wage in 2022 in California is $14.00 for employers with up to 25 employees and $15.00 for larger employers.
      The minimum wage will increase again in January 2023, at which time all employers, regardless of size, must pay minimum hourly wages of $15.00.
      In California, tipped employees are entitled to the same minimum wage as non-tipped employees. This differs by state, as tipped employees in some states are paid less than minimum wage by their employers.
  • Overtime

    • California overtime laws make it mandatory for all employers to pay overtime wages of one and one-half times the amount of normal wages for every hour of overtime. “Overtime” refers to any time worked over eight hours per day or more than 40 hours per workweek. There are a few exemptions and exceptions to the general overtime law.
  • Breaks

    • All workers are entitled to one 30-minute, unpaid meal break after five hours of work unless the employee will complete the shift in six hours or less and the employee and employer agree not to take the break. No employee can work more than 10 hours in a day without a second 30-minute break unless the shift will last less than 12 hours and both parties agree to waive it (only if the employee did not waive the first break).

If there is both a federal and a state law regarding the same issue, the employer must abide by the one that is the most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is only $7.25, but since California’s state minimum wage is higher, California employers must pay the higher wage. Wage and hour laws can be complex, but it’s an employer’s duty to keep up with them and treat employees according to the requirements of the law. Failure to do so can result in disputes.

Misclassified Employees

Employers may attempt to misclassify their employees to get around fulfilling their legal requirements as employers. Often, this leads to employees not having the rights and benefits they would be entitled to if they were correctly classified. Depending on the type of misclassification, employees could lose their right to overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, access to company health and workers’ compensation insurance, and access to other company benefits. There are several different ways employers can try to misclassify their workers:

  • Misclassifying employees as “independent contractors”. Independent contractors are not technically employees of a particular company; rather, they are self-employed and earn their wages through contracted work. Since independent contractors are not employed by a company, they are not entitled to the benefits of employees of a company, which saves the company money. Other rights such as rest breaks, expense reimbursement, and meal breaks can also be refused to those classified as “independent contractors.”
  • Misclassifying with a managerial title. Giving an employee the title of “manager” or “assistant manager” sometimes allows employers to avoid allowing overtime compensation, meal breaks, or rest periods. Having this title may be attractive to some employees, so they may accept it without understanding their rights. However, it is the job duties, not the job title, that determines whether an employee is exempt from these benefits.In California, to be exempt from overtime pay due to managerial status, you must have specific job duties that take up 50% or more of your time. These duties include regularly overseeing the work of 2 or more employees, regularly exercising power and managerial decision-making, being able to fire and hire employees, and having the power to make comments regarding personnel that are given weight by the employer. Additionally, you must be making at least two times the minimum wage monthly.
  • Misclassifying employees as exempt. Exempt employees are generally paid a salary instead of by the hour, which makes them exempt from overtime pay. Specific guidelines must be met for an employee to legally qualify as exempt, similar to those in a managerial role. Employers may attempt to misclassify employees this way to avoid paying them overtime or giving them meal or rest breaks, which are the legal rights of non-exempt employees.

What to Do If You Suspect You are a Victim of Wage and Hour Violations

Discussing your situation with an experienced Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer is a wise first step if you think your employer is violating wage or hour laws. Additionally, you will want to gather any evidence to support your claim. Pay stubs, working hours, and any proof or records of your time spent working will be helpful in building a strong case.

Decide how you will file your claim. An attorney can help you understand your choices and allow you to make an informed decision. You may decide to file a claim with the California Division of Labor Standards or sue your employer directly. You can also file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. Be sure to file your claim within three years of the violation, as that is the statute of limitations for these types of cases.

FAQs About Wage and Hour Law in California

How Much Does a Wage and Hour Lawyer Cost in Los Angeles?

The cost of hiring a lawyer in Los Angeles varies widely depending on the type of case and the pricing structure a law firm uses. California attorneys can charge as much as $1000 an hour, with the average cost being between $164 and $422 per hour. The Law Office of Omid Nosrati has a “No Recovery, No Fee” policy, which means you won’t be charged unless we help you reach a settlement or win a case.

What Does a Los Angeles Wage and Hour Attorney Do?

Wage and hour attorneys work with employees who have been the victim of wage and hour violations from their employer. This means the employee hasn’t been fully and/or properly paid for the work they’ve done. Wage and hour violations could present in a variety of ways, including denial of overtime pay, falsifying work records, failing to provide required rest or meal breaks, and more.

What Questions Should You Ask a Wage and Hour Attorney in California?

Finding an attorney who specializes in the area you need legal help in is always beneficial. Asking questions before you commit to working with a lawyer is a great way to find out if they are experienced and knowledgeable in wage and hour violation law. Ask questions about their experience, what percentage of their practice is dedicated to employment law, and whether they have handled (and won) cases similar to yours.

How Much Is a Wage and Hour Dispute Lawyer Consultation Fee in California?

Lawyer consultation fees in California can be as high as $450, depending on the law firm and type of case. When you might already be experiencing financial hardship due to being improperly compensated at your job, this can be an unmanageable expense. Contact The Law Office of Omid Nosrati to have your case reviewed by our expert team.

Do Undocumented Workers Have Rights Under Wage and Hour Laws?

Undocumented workers have generally the same rights as other workers when it comes to wage and hour laws. You should not be denied overtime pay or be asked to sacrifice meal and rest breaks due to undocumented status. Undocumented workers cannot collect unemployment insurance in California, however, due to the fact they are not “available for work” since they are not legally eligible for work.

Contact Our Los Angeles Wage and Hour Attorneys Today

Going up against your employer in a wage and hour dispute isn’t something you want to do alone. While the law is likely on your side, you need the proper evidence and elements of proof for a successful claim. An experienced attorney can gather evidence, strengthen your case, and fight for fair compensation for your lost wages, overtime pay, and other penalties. There are many situations in which a lawyer can be a significant benefit to you as a California employee. To speak with an experienced employment law lawyer in Los Angeles, count on The Law Office of Omid Nosrati. Call (310) 553-5630 or contact our law office online for a free consultation.

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