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Top 5 Common Employment Violations in California

Top 5 Common Employment Violations in California

Table of Contents for Specific Topics

There are numerous employment and labor laws that offer California employees protection at work. From meal breaks to work-related travel, state laws protect and ensure employees are treated fairly at work.

In California, the top 5 common employment violations include:

Not Providing Necessary Meal and Rest Breaks

California employees are entitled to a minimum of 30 minutes meal break for every shift they worked more than 5 hours. The meal break is unpaid and should be taken before the sixth hour of the shift.

Employees are also permitted to a second 30 minutes meal break if they worked more than 10 hours in a single day. The second meal break must be taken before the 11th hour of work.

In addition to the meal breaks, nonexempt employees are allowed to take a 10-minute rest period if they work for at least 3.5 hours.


Not Paying Overtime Pay

If you’re a nonexempt employee, your employer is required to pay you for any overtime hours worked.

Generally, overtime falls into one of the two categories: 1.5 times the regular pay rate or double pay rate.

Employees should be paid 1.5 times the regular pay rate when he or she has worked more than 40 hours in one work week or more than 8 hours in a single day.

The pay rate should be doubled when a nonexempt employee has worked more than 12 hours in a single day or more than 8 hours on the 7th work day in a week.


Misclassifying Independent Contractors

Employers often misclassify employees as independent contractors to try and save money. Traditionally, an independent contractor is his or her own boss and set their own fees. The more independence a person has, the greater likelihood that person is a contractor.

Being misclassified as an independent contractor when you’re performing the work of an employee is a violation of your rights. By doing so, you may be deprived of wages, benefits, and other essential employee rights.


Misclassifying Exempt versus Nonexempt Employees

Determining the difference between exempt versus nonexempt status is important because it determines the minimum salary requirements. California employment law states that exempt employees are required to earn at 2 times the minimum wage amount on a monthly basis.

Additionally, exempt employees must pass the strict duties test which shows that more than 50% of the employee’s time is spent performing exempt job duties.


Not Paying Work-Related Hours or Travel Time

In some situations, employees can claim working hours when performing job-related duties such as traveling or attending a training workshop off-site.

Employees should keep accurate track of their work-related hours for any job-related duties. If any employer doesn’t pay you for your hours worked, they may be violating your employment rights.


Contact an Employment Lawyer Los Angeles Today

If your employment rights are being violated, you need an experienced attorney by your side to help you navigate the legal proceedings. Contact Mesriani Law Group today to speak with an experienced and respectful employment lawyer today. Our attorneys have over two decades of experience winning employment cases throughout Los Angeles and can help you with your case.

About the Author
Picture of Rodney Mesriani
Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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