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Wage and Hour Disputes

How to file a Wage & Hour claim

Most people work hard for their income. Employers must pay employees for their hard work. Employers generally must:

  • Pay employees at least minimum wage.
  • Make timely payment of wages to their employees.
  • Provide employees with accurate written pay stabs for each pay period
  • Reimburse employees for necessary business expenses.
  • Pay employees their accrued and unused vacation time at the time of termination.
  • Pay employees for time spent working or preparing for work before clocking in and after clocking out.
  • Provide employees their meal and rest breaks.
  • Pay overtime and double time wages when necessary.
  • Provide uniforms that they require employees to wear and pay for cost of uniform maintenance.
  • Avoid taking illegal or unauthorized wage deductions from their employees.

California law allows employees to pursue wage claims either in superior court or by filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office.  Where you file your case can significantly affect the outcome of our case and speed of recovery.

Meal and Rest Break Violations

Many employees are unaware of their rights when it comes to meal and rest breaks. Under California law (which is much more generous to employees than federal labor law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to at least a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday. When an employee works for a period of more than 10 hours, a second meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s tenth hour of work.

Employees must be relieved of all duties during the entire 30 minute meal period and must be free to leave the employer’s premises. The employer cannot impede or discourage employees from taking their meal or rest breaks. Employer cannot undermine the meal and break laws by pressuring employees to perform their duties in ways that omit breaks (e.g through a scheduling policy that makes breaks very impractical).

In very limited circumstances, employers and employees can agree to an “on duty” meal period. On duty meal periods will be permitted only when the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the employer and employee an on-the-job meal period is agreed to.

You are also entitled to a 10-minute rest breaks for every 4 hours you work (or “major fraction” thereof).

If your boss doesn’t comply with break law requirements, they are required to pay you one extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a meal break violation occurred, and another extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a rest break violation occurred.

Overtime Violations

Most non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime wages are a type of increased payment employees can earn when working more than a certain number of hours in a workday or workweek.

  • Overtime requirements in California:
    • Employers must pay employees overtime (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) for all hours worked over eight hours per day
    • Employers must pay employees overtime (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. 
    • Employers must pay employees overtime (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) for all work performed by the employee on their seventh consecutive day in the workweek.
    • Employers must pay employees double time (2 times their regular rate of pay) for any work performed by the employee more than 12 hours in a workday
    • Employers must pay employees double time (2 times their regular rate of pay) for any work performed by the employee when working more than 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day in a workweek.

Under most circumstances the employer may discipline an employee, up to and including termination, if the employee refuses to work scheduled overtime. An employer cannot discipline an employee for refusing to work on the 7th day in a workweek and is subject to a penalty for causing or inducing an employee to forego a day of rest.

  • Not all employees are eligible for overtime. Salaried employees are exempt from overtime as well as certain business and industries.
  • Failure to pay overtime is a form of wage theft. Sometimes, employers fail to pay overtime because they are ignorant of the law. It is important employees know their rights.

If your employer decimates or retaliates against you for requesting your lawful meal and rest breaks, you can file a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office or in the alternative, you can file a lawsuit in Court against your employer.

Call Duel Law Firm Today!

We can help you determine whether or not your state or federal rights have been violated and whether a wage and hour dispute is appropriate under the circumstances.

Duel Law has been successful at collecting millions of dollars on behalf of employees who were denied their lawful wages.

Experienced and Fierce Employment Attorneys

Duel Law Firm



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