Wage and Hour Laws and Overtime

The United States Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California law protect employees with regard to timely and proper payment of wages and overtime. Most wage and hour claims brought by employees charge that the employer violated federal, state or city wage and hour laws by doing one of the following: (1) failing to pay overtime which is generally owed nonexempt employees if they work over eight hours in a day or over forty hours in a week; (2) failing to provide nonexempt employees with a meal period of at least 1/2 hour in which they are relieved of all work and are free to leave the employer’s premises on each day that they work over five hours; (3) failing to provide nonexempt employees with two rest periods of 10 minutes apiece when they work a sufficiently lengthy workday; (4) failing to reimburse an employee, whether exempt or not, for all of his and her expenses; and, (5) failing to pay an employee at least the minimum wage for each hour he/she worked.

It is not uncommon for an employer to mislabel an employee as exempt when under the law the employee is really nonexempt. It is also not uncommon for an employer to mislabel a person as an independent contractor when the person is really an employee under the law. Therefore, you might be a nonexempt employee under the law with all the rights of a nonexempt employee even though your employer claims you are an exempt employee or an independent contractor.

Some employers fail to pay commissions owed to the employee or fail to reimburse business expenses.

In some cases the employer’s unlawful practices are widespread through its workforce which may justify a class action lawsuit.

There are other requirements in the wage and hour laws that are less well known. For example, generally, employers have to provide seats for all employees and cannot require that they stand unless the nature of the work requires the employee to stand. Employers also have to keep employee bathrooms, resting rooms, and change rooms at a temperature of at least 68 degrees.