Los Angeles is currently experiencing a serious theft problem. However, this type of theft isn’t bank robbery or shoplifting. Rather, it is perpetrated by employers, who are stealing from their employees by refusing to pay them appropriate overtime wages. Refusing to pay your worker the overtime rates they are legally entitled to is theft. That theft, like any other theft, should be addressed and rectified by the law.
What Is Overtime?
In California, many employees qualify for overtime payment (one-and-a-half times their regular pay) if they work beyond a full-time workday or workweek. Specifically, eligible employees are entitled to overtime payment for all hours that they work beyond:
- Eight hours in a workday
- 40 hours a workweek
- Six consecutive days in a workweek
Wages must be further increased (doubled) for all hours that eligible employees work beyond 12 hours in a workday, and eight hours on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek.
Who Qualifies For Overtime?
Many people employed in California qualify for overtime payment. However, there are some professions and employees that do not qualify. These include outside salespeople, unionized employees, independent contractors, employees with “alternate workweek schedule” agreements, most white-collar workers, and salaried, non-hourly workers.
Standard overtime rules also do not apply to workers in professions which have their own specific overtime rules, including but not limited to camp counselors, agricultural workers, au pairs, live-in household workers and personal attendants.
If you are an hourly employee in California who does not fall into any of the above categories, it is very likely that you qualify for overtime.
What Should I Do If My Boss Isn’t Paying Me Overtime?
Overtime was put in place in order to protect employees from exploitation and make sure they are compensated fairly. Some employers try to convince their employees that overtime pay is a privilege rather than a right, but that is incorrect. You are entitled to overtime pay if you work overtime hours. If your boss is withholding overtime pay, it is as if they are withholding your paycheck at the end of the week. Pocketing your regular paycheck instead of paying you is theft, and so is pocketing your overtime pay.
If your employer is refusing to give you your overtime pay, the smartest move is to contact a qualified, knowledgeable labor and employment lawyer. They can help you evaluate your claim, often free of charge, to see if a case can be made on your behalf. If you have a case, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit against your employer, and/or to file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner. In these cases, employees are often able to win back all of their overtime payment, and are often also able to collect penalties and additional damages as compensation for their employer’s violations.
Who Should I Call?
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking to make the strongest possible case for your overtime rights, you should call Yitz Weiss and Jonathon Kaplan, the Fair Employment Lawyers. Attorneys Kaplan and Weiss are extremely well-versed in employment law, and offer large firm experience with small firm attention to detail and personalized service. They know the ins and outs of California employment law fluently, and are passionate defenders for the rights of workers. They will fight on your behalf both in and out of the courtroom, and will not rest until you get the settlement you deserve.
Are you or a loved one experiencing wage theft? Is your employer refusing to pay overtime? Don’t wait. Call (213) 257-8999 for a free, 30-minute case evaluation today.
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