You work hard to earn an income to support yourself and your family. Unfortunately, some Riverside employers do not pay their employees all the compensation they have earned. You may be entitled to compensation if you have been the victim of a wage and overtime violation. California and federal laws entitle employees to minimum wage and overtime pay when working beyond 40 hours in a workweek.
Whether your employer withheld wages or improperly calculated pay, it is worth learning more about your legal options by discussing your case with a skilled attorney. HKM Employment Attorneys is prepared to help you fight for your right to hold your employer accountable and for the total and fair compensation your employer owes you.
Types of Wage and Overtime Violation Cases We Handle
Employers can intentionally or negligently withhold compensation from their employers in many ways. HKM Employment Attorneys have extensive experience holding employers accountable through wage and hour violation lawsuits. We know how to fight for employees to receive all the compensation they deserve and additional damages. Some of the most common types of wage and hour violation claims that occur in Riverside include the following:
- Failing to document overtime hours
- Failing to pay at least minimum wage
- Failing to pay overtime hours at overtime rates
- Requiring “off-the-clock” work
- Misclassifying employees to avoid paying overtime compensation to them
- Failing to fully compensate employees for company expenses the employee paid out of their pocket
- Failing to compensate employees for the miles they have traveled for work
- Making improper deductions to an employee’s pay
- Failing to provide a final paycheck
- Failing to provide pay for unused paid sick leave or personal time off
The Benefits of Working With a Skilled Employment Attorney
When employees are denied wages for their work, they face financial uncertainty and fear of retaliation or termination for reporting illegal acts. At HKM Employment Attorneys, our job is to level the playing field. During the initial consultation, we will identify the specific problems you are facing and the potential legal claims you may be able to bring against your employer for failing to comply with wage and hour laws. We will protect your rights throughout every step of the process, including responding to retaliation for pursuing a claim against your employer.
Employees benefit from working with a skilled attorney who can act as a problem solver. HKM Employment Attorneys combine their experience and knowledge of the California Labor Code and the FLSA for the private sector and government workers. Retaining a less-qualified lawyer can have devastating consequences, such as losing the case or paying attorney fees and costs to your employer, which can be ordered under the California Labor Code.
Common Wage and Overtime Violations
Minimum wage laws change frequently across the country. A lot of the momentum for increasing the minimum wage comes from states like California and New York. As of 2023, California’s minimum wage increased to $15.50 per hour from $15 per hour in 2022. Whether you’re earning a minimum wage or a higher wage, if you are an exempt employee, you are entitled to overtime of pay.
Your employer must calculate your overtime pay at one-and-a-half times your normal rate for each hour your work exceeds eight in a day or 40 in a workweek. Despite these clear laws, an employer can take advantage of you in many ways by withholding your pay or miscalculating your earnings.
The California Labor Code guarantees nonexempt employees at least the state minimum wage for each hour of work. Frequently, employers attempt to classify employees improperly as independent contractors, piece-rate workers, or commissioned salespeople. They do so as a way to avoid payment of California minimum wage. Some employers require their workers to clock out and continue to work “off the clock” without any payroll compensation.
Retaliation and Wrongful Retaliation Related to Wage and Overtime Claims
Many employees are understandably concerned about what will happen if they report state and federal wage and hour laws violations. They fear filing a claim could lead to retaliatory action, such as being fired, demoted, or assigned less-favorable work hours. Unfortunately, some employers engage in retaliatory actions, but such actions are unlawful under state and federal law. If your employer has retaliated against you for filing a claim against your employer, you have a right to pursue a claim against your employer for retaliation. Employees may have a claim if they have experienced one or more of the following:
- Change in employment status
- Termination of employment
- Promotion opportunities becoming non-existent or limited
- Mandatory transfers to offices that require relocation
Specifically, California Labor Code section 1102.5 prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who either: 1) discloses information to a governmental or law enforcement agency based on a reasonable belief that the employer is violating a statute, rule, or regulation, or 2) refuses to participate in an employer activity that would result in a violation of a statute, rule, or regulation.
If you have been retaliated against for losing your job over complaints involving minimum wage or overtime, we often try to negotiate with your employer for back pay and reinstatement. We will outline the laws that apply to resolve the issue out-of-court. However, if your employer is not willing to rectify the situation, we are prepared to pursue legal action against your employer. You may be entitled to pay back, front pay, compensation for the loss of employer benefits, and potentially punitive damages.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Wage and Overtime Violation Attorney
The legal team at HKM Employment Attorneys has comprehensive experience and insight into California and federal laws governing wages and overtime. We represent hourly and salaried employees, entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, executives, and managers. We put our clients’ legal concerns first. We give every wage and hour violation case the time and attention it deserves. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule an initial case evaluation and learn more about our legal services.