As many of our clients are business owners, our office has handled numerous cases involving employment issues. Recently, one of the most common issues we have dealt with has been wage and hour disputes.
In California, an employer is required to follow the rules and regulations set by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Minimum wage, overtime wages, providing the required rest and lunch breaks and keeping appropriate time clock and payroll records are all examples of these laws, among other things. Failure to comply with any of these can lead to serious consequences for an employer. Damages typically include actual unpaid wages, liquidated damages (double damages), interest, waiting time penalties, attorney’s fees and court costs. Additionally, the burden of compliance is placed on the employer, rather than the employee, meaning the employer must take steps to ensure they are in compliance with the applicable laws.
These strict laws have enabled numerous former or current disgruntled employees to file claims against their employer for failure to comply with the rules. These claims and lawsuits can become extremely expensive very quickly. As mentioned, attorneys’ fees may be recovered by the employee’s attorney, which can create high monetary exposure for an employer.
There are certain steps an employer can take to limit their exposure from a wage and hour claim or lawsuit. Although it may cost some time and money to plan ahead, these incidental costs will be well worth it in the long term.
As a current and former employee, if you believe your employer did not follow the laws explained above, you should speak with an attorney to make sure you are aware of your rights.
If you have questions about wage and hour issues, you should speak with an attorney to get the correct legal advice. The attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP have experience with issues involving wage and hour from the employer and employee perspective, and can help you.
For more information about Wage and Hour Disputes, please call us at 619-441-2500 for a free consultation or send us a message for a free case evaluation.