California Employer Wage and Hour Claims Attorney:
Protecting Your Company
The labor force of California includes more than 19 million people. With that many people in a wide variety of jobs, the state’s wage and hour laws are not one-size-fits-all. Your attorney should not be one-size-fits-all either. When an employee alleges a wage and hour violation, you need a California employer wage and hour claims attorney with broad experience and deep knowledge of issues that impact California employers.
When an employee has a gripe about wages, overtime, break time, and other wage and hour issues, the employee has many resources for information on how to file a claim against your company. Resources for California wage and hour employer defense are not as common or accessible.
Business owners work long hours and often expect their employees to do the same. It is imperative that business owners and human resources officers understand and address corporate responsibilities. You can take action to protect your business by contacting a California employer defense attorney for wage and hour claims.
Why You Need a California Employer Wage and Hour Claims Attorney
A variety of allegations by employees regarding compensation can require California wage and hour defense strategies. Complaints can relate to minimum wage, tips, overtime pay, vacation pay, rest breaks, meal breaks and compensation for transportation or time spent preparing for work.
Employees who file a successful wage and hour claim may be entitled to payment for unpaid time going back as long as two years, plus an equal additional amount as liquidated damages. Employers who have miscalculated an employee’s pay may also be subject to penalties. Willful, repeat offenders may be subject to imprisonment. An employer’s compliance with wage and hour laws is serious business.
When is the Best Time to Contact a California Employer Wage and Hour Claims Attorney?
California provides an informal process for resolving employee wage claims. At that initial stage, a deputy labor commissioner sits down with the employer and employee and attempts to reach a settlement. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the claim proceeds to a hearing before an officer from the Labor Commissioner’s Office. This may seem informal, but it is, in fact, the first chance for the employer to present evidence and testimony. If an employer loses, it may choose to appeal to superior court after posting a significant, mandatory bond.
The best time to contact a defense attorney for California wage and hour claims in California is when the employer learns of an employee’s grievance. An employer should not wait until the employee files a claim or hires an attorney. It is definitely not advisable to wait until the conclusion of the informal settlement conference to contact a California employer defense attorney for wage and hour claims. By that time, the employee will have gathered information and structured a claim. The time for the employer to begin defending wage and hour claim is when the employer learns of the complaint.
Simply sending a human resources officer to a settlement conference with payroll records will not prepare your company for the formal evidentiary hearing. This is the hearing at which evidence will be taken, witnesses sworn, and testimony recorded. A California employer wage and hour claims attorney can assist you in gathering evidence and witnesses, preparing to testify, and determining which laws apply to your company and your aggrieved employee.
California Wage and Hour Law is Different from Federal Law
Employers may feel confident in their grasp of wage and hour laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An employer with fewer than 50 employees may assume that wage and hour laws don’t apply. California law is more complicated, however, and offers employees greater and more varied protections than federal law.
California wage law consists, in part, of eighteen wage orders that apply to various occupations and industries. To pay employees correctly, it is vital to know where your business falls and employees fall within the regulations.
In addition to state laws, many California cities and counties have local ordinances governing minimum wages. These laws may favor employees even more than state laws.
An employer’s assumptions about the law can be costly. Don’t assume; know. Get help from an experienced defense attorney for California wage and hour claims.
Employers seeking a California employer wage and hour claims attorney should call the Law Offices of Susan A. Rodriguez, APC at (213) 943-1323 or complete our online contact form today to discuss defending wage and hour claims in California.