Articles Posted in Wage Theft

shutterstock_11485384341-300x200All employers in California are obligated to pay their employees according to certain legal standards. Employees that are paid an illegally low wage or not paid in full can seek compensation in court. However, you should have a clear understanding of all the possible types of compensation before you file a complaint against your employer. It’s recommended that you consult with an employment lawyer for a better understanding of the minimum wage requirements and legal compensation rules applicable to you.
Employers in California are required to do the following:

1. Minimum wage: Least minimum wage as of January 1st, 2022 is $14 an hour for companies that have less than 26 workers and $15 an hour for others. There are specific cities in California that are required by law to have a higher minimum wage than the state requirement.
2. Overtime pay: Non-exempt employees need to be paid overtime for any hours they work exceeding 8 hours in a single workday and 40 hours in a workweek. The stipulated overtime rate is 1.5 times the base hourly rate. In addition, employers are also required to pay their employees at 1.5 times the regular rate for the first 8 hours on every 7th consecutive work day in a week.

2-300x222Unauthorized deductions from your paycheck may be unlawful. If your employer has deducted the cost of medical or physical exams, overpayment of wages, uniforms costs, or work tool costs, they may be engaging in wage theft. Wage theft is a catch-all term for payroll abuses which cheat workers of the wages they have earned. In California, wage theft can arise from a variety of circumstances, including failing to pay workers the state mandated minimum wage; failing to pay for overtime work performed and/or paying overtime at an incorrect rate of pay; failing to pay for work simply because it was performed “off-the-clock”; failing to pay workers all wages and penalties for late, interrupted, or missed meal and/or rest breaks; misclassifying workers as independent contractors; making unlawful deductions from workers’ paychecks; or by creating or enforcing various other policies which violate State and/or Federal law.

Wage theft is a longstanding problem in California. Although there are no exact figures on the extend of wage theft, authorities say it is rampant in such industries as construction, restaurants, and home health care. Wage theft from unlawful deductions often go unreported because workers may not even realize that they are being paid less than what they have legally earned. Under California labor law, workers are entitled to numerous rights and wage theft protections, and they can recover large penalties if employers violate those rights.

California Labor Code Section 221 and 224, allows employers to make deductions from workers’ wages in limited circumstances, including tax withholdings, garnishments or court orders, contributions to health benefit plans (when authorized). Employers must comply with both federal and state laws when making these deductions, particularly the limits on the amount deducted. California labor law expressly prohibits certain deductions.

Contact Information