California Overtime Law: Top 10 Employer Mistakes
California Labor Law Stacks the Deck against Unwary Employers
California labor law protects the rights of California employees to receive overtime pay for those who work more than 8 hours a day and for those who work more than 40 hours in a week. In California, you can still be entitled to overtime even if you are paid on a salary basis, even if your salary is $100,000.00 a year. You can also be eligible for overtime even if your company labels you a “part time” employee or you supervise other people. Even exceeding the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines, California labor law has many narrowly defined exemptions and can be very tricky.
Top Ten Employer Mistakes Regarding California Wage and Hour Law
Without adequate knowledge or legal counsel, the deck can be stacked against employers’ compliance with California labor law, and as a result, employers are making mistakes in determining whether or not workers are entitled to overtime pay as well as other mistakes regarding wages legally owed to employees. Consulting with an experienced overtime lawyer is a must for California employers as well as employees.
1. Misclassifying Employees as “Independent Contractors”
2. Maintaining an Unlawful Vacation Policy
3. Failing to Appropriately Pay Final Wages
4. Failing to Properly Handle Employee Expense Reimbursements, Uniforms, and Tools and Losses
5. Not Posting Required Notices Mandated by both State and Federal Law
6. Miscalculating Regular Rate of Pay
7. Not Properly Paying Employees for All Hours Worked
8. Not Providing Employees with the Required Breaks and Meal Periods
9. Employees Misclassified as Exempt from Overtime Pay
10. Not Understanding which Wage Order Applies (California has 17 Separate Wage Orders)
To get a complete explanation for the above list, contact our law office, as California has complicated definitions of what is legal and what is not.
California labor law is complex, especially in Information Technology and the high tech industry, and the Labor Commission does not always have the time to assist in understanding these issues. Therefore, it is suggested that if you have a complaint against your employer regarding overtime or any other wage and hour dispute that you do not only take it to the Labor Commission. Contact an overtime attorney that specializes in California labor law, as they understand all of California’s quirks regarding this matter.
The following is an example of a case filed in California state court regarding employee/employer disputes over aspects covered under the labor laws of California.
California Wage/Hour Class Action Lawsuit: Oracle Corporation
In October of 2010, 3,000 Oracle Corp. employees have brought suit against their employer in Alameda County, California alleging that Oracle Corporation misclassified them as exempt and deprived them of overtime pay.
Judge Steven Brick’s order certified 3 subclasses of technical analysts, project managers, and quality assurance analysts or developers for Oracle and Peoplesoft, which Oracle bought in 2005. It is the first class of Oracle employees to win certification in a coordinated proceeding that includes four different suits. (Oracle Wage and Hour Cases, JCCPoo4597) They say their employer violated the California Labor Code by failing to pay overtime and also failing to provide them with off-duty meal times.
Brick also granted the plaintiff’s motion to strike the declaration of an expert witness whose opinions favored Oracle.