Overtime Violations Attorney in Los Angeles
Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP Help You Get What You Are Owed
Federal and California state laws couldn't be more explicit. Workers in jobs classified as nonexempt are to be paid at least one and a half times their hourly rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in their workweek. Under California law, employees are also entitled to overtime pay when they work more than eight hours in one day. Despite these unambiguous laws, many employers look for ways to unlawfully avoid paying overtime.
Since 1995, Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP has provided clients in Los Angeles with aggressive advocacy. All of our overtime violations lawyers have over a decade's worth of experience. We are passionate about helping clients fight back against employers that would exploit them. Our lawyers can provide services in several languages, including Spanish, Hindi, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
Ways Employers Violate Wage & Overtime Laws
If your employer is refusing to pay you the overtime you earned, you may not know what to do. Many clients report feeling intimidated and unsure of how to stand up to their employers and get the money they are owed. This can be, in large part, due to the insidious ways employers commit overtime wage violations. There are employers out there who will go to every length to avoid paying you for the overtime you worked.
Common ways employers illegally avoid paying overtime include:
- Misclassifying positions as exempt in order to only pay workers a straight salary
- Trading overtime hours for additional time off in the future
- Making workers stay off the clock while “donning and doffing” their equipment
- Having an administrative staff member fill out workers’ timecards with inaccurate information
- Counting overtime earnings as meeting the minimum wage requirement
- Splitting shifts into shorter blocks of hours
Many employees may feel pressure from their employers and even their coworkers not to report these violations. But you owe it to yourself to hold your employer accountable.
Overtime Pay and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there are federal laws that require an employer to meet certain legal standards regarding minimum wage and overtime pay, (among other employment related requirements such as child labor laws and recordkeeping). The FLSA stipulates that an employer is responsible for doing the following:
- Paying their employees the minimum wage. At present, the minimum wage for nonexempt workers is a rate of $7.25 an hour.
- Paying their employees an overtime pay rate for any time they work over 40 hours within one work week.
Overtime Pay and California law
In addition to the provisions of the FLSA, California’s state laws go a little further, requiring that overtime be paid to nonexempt employees who work:
- Over 8 hours in one workday (which is defined as a 24 hour period which starts at the same time each day).
- Over 40 hours in one workweek (which is defined as seven consecutive days that start on the same day each week).
- A seventh day, consecutively, in one workweek. It is the responsibility of your employer to designate the day on which your workweek begins. This information can help you determine whether you have worked and are owed the pay for overtime.
Overtime Violations Due to Misclassification
One of the most frequent abuses of overtime law occurs when an employer purposely misclassifies an employee who should be considered of exempt status as a non-exempt employee to avoid tracking and paying them for overtime hours worked. This violation, as well as others that are often in conjunction with this, such as forcing misclassified workers to work off the clock, or deducting for meal breaks even when an employee works through them, are not uncommon but need to be recognized and corrected. Some of the most recent examples of this unlawful employer behavior has been found within the defense industry in California, where Department of Defense contractors were accused of and found to be in violation of protections provided to employees through the FLSA.
Understanding the difference between what California labor laws consider an exempt or non-exempt employee is very useful in helping you avoid being taken advantage of by an employer.
Overtime laws are not applicable to employees who are exempt as defined within the California Labor Code. This means meeting the following criteria:
- 50% or more of your time at work is spent on professional, administrative or executive job duties.
- You must regularly use your independent judgment and discretion while at work.
- Your payment is salaried and equal to at least twice the minimum wage of the state for a 40 hour workweek.
There are exceptions to this specified in state law, including licensed doctors and surgeons, private school teachers and employees of the state or local government (including University of California employees), as well as employees who earn more than half of their pay from commissions.
Non-exempt employees, on the other hand, are protected by the FLSA, which entitles them to overtime pay. This is a rate of their regular hourly wage, plus half of that wage for each hour over a 40 hour workweek. Employers are allowed to require non-exempt employees to work mandatory overtime, but California allows employees who have worked 72 or more hours in the previous week to refuse working overtime hours without penalty.
Contact Our Los Angeles Overtime Lawyers
At Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP, our wage and hour litigation lawyers believe that workers deserve to get paid every penny of the money they have earned. If you are not receiving the overtime wages you have earned, there are steps you should take to help your case.
- Document the number of hours you work each week
- Keep your pay stub to determine whether your employer is recording a different number of hours
- Though not mandatory, you should consider filing a formal complaint with your human resources department as this official documentation will be used as evidence in your case
- If you have filed a complaint with human resources, document any retaliation, harassment or discrimination you receive after making the complaint
It is also recommended that you speak with an experienced litigator, familiar with handling overtime violation cases in Los Angeles. Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP has a large team of dedicated attorneys who have spent years dedicated to fighting for workers' rights. With our extensive knowledge of federal, state, and city labor laws, we can provide you with the aggressive representation for which you are looking.
One of our strengths is our ability to litigate a case in court successfully. Hennig Ruiz & Sing, PC is not afraid to go to trial to right for you. We believe in providing strong representation that always keeps the client's best interest front and center. Our Los Angeles overtime wage violation lawyers always give every client the personalized attention they deserve. As a firm, we are driven to provide honest, caring, and reliable legal representation to every client.
We are also very active in our local communities. Our founder, Attorney Rob Hennig, regularly volunteers at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and was the founding co-chair of the board of directors for what is now Equality California. Mr. Hennig is also a past member of the board of directors and past president of the LGBT chapter of the ACLU of Southern California.
We Don't Hide from the Fight
Kamali v. State Of California Department Of Transportation $1.8 Million Judgment
In a single-plaintiff disability failure to accommodate/discrimination claim, our firm obtained a judgment of $1.8 million.
Multi-Plaintiff Wage And Hour Case $330,000 Settlement
$330,000 was recovered on behalf of our clients for failure to pay overtime and failure to provide proper meal and rest breaks.
National Origin Discrimination Case $500,000 Settlement
The supervisors of an employee from Iran had made negative comments about Persians and later denied pay increases and promotional opportunities to a Persian employee.
Race/National Origin Discrimination And Harassment Case $1.1 Million Settlement
A lawsuit was filed against the State of California after employees alleged less-than-favorable treatment by management.
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