You would think paying employees and getting paid is not that complicated. To make sure employees are paid, there are long-standing state and federal laws that impose substantial penalties in the event of noncompliance. But, more and more disputes arise over breaks, meal periods, overtime, etc. Class action lawsuits have increased especially since the timeframe for bringing such claims can be 3 to 4 years. For employers we can reduce your chances of becoming a defendant by providing you with proactive, aggressive representation. For employees there are times when misclassification occurs leading to overtime and other claims or there may be an effort to help the employer out. The prompt and accurate payment of wages is always the best course.
Federal vs State Wage and Hour Laws
Although all states must comply with federal wage and hour laws, individual states can and do impose additional requirements pertaining to these laws. Thus, an employer can be compliant at the federal level but not the state. It can be very difficult for employers to understand – let alone maintain – compliance. Here are just a few of the issues covered by wage and hour laws:
- Payment of minimum wage
- Length of pay periods
- Meal breaks
- Alternative work week schedules
- Itemized wage statements
We use our comprehensive knowledge of wage and hour laws to protect you from inadvertently violating them and/or seeing minor violations turn into major class action lawsuits.
What does exempt and nonexempt really mean?
There are two major employee classifications related to wage and hour laws: exempt and non-exempt. Non-exempt employees are all those to whom wage and hour laws apply. Exempt employees are not governed by wage and hour laws; they can work overtime without pay and skip rest and meal periods, among other things.
To avoid misclassification suits, Jordan Law Group routinely analyzes duties and the extent of discretionary authority, a key component of whether supervisory duties are performed on a regular basis. Further an employee could be exempt if applying only federal law, but maybe nonexempt under California law. A job title does not answer the question, rather an analysis of duties and frequency is required.
Unfortunately, it is easy for employers to misclassify employees as exempt and this can be a very costly mistake. To avoid these problems, it is important to seek the help of highly qualified, aggressive representation.
State law requires that employees be fully informed of all hours, rates of pay and compensation at straight time, over time, holiday, vacation etc. Employees should keep these records and check them so that there are no misunderstandings. Talking about a potential wage claim and asking questions is protected activity. Employers need to understand that even minor discrepancies leading to unpaid wages can result in substantial waiting time penalties.
Jordan Law group has substantial experience in resolving these issues because most employers understand there is no purpose to be served by shortchanging employees. Administrative claims can be filed or we deal directly with employees and employers. Contact us at 415-459-9865.