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What To Do If Your Labor Law Rights Have Been Violated

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All workers in California are protected by labor laws, regardless of their birthplace or legal status. Unfortunately, many employers commit labor law violations. In some cases, these violations aren’t deliberate as the employer may simply be unaware of their legal duties. In other cases, employers deliberately violate the state’s labor laws to cut costs or meet other objectives at the expense of their employees.

According to data published by the Labor Commissioner’s Office, the most common labor law violations in California include:

  1. Non-payment of minimum wage and overtime.
  2. Non-reimbursement of business expenses.
  3. Failure to provide rest and/or meal breaks.
  4. Failure to disclose itemized wage statements.
  5. Failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

Other commonplace violations are the deliberate misclassification of employees as independent contractors, as well as the misclassification of regular employees as exempt employees.

Rest assured that your labor law rights are protected by state and federal laws, which means that you can report any violations to the Labor Commissioner’s Office. However, it’s equally important that you familiarize yourself with the most common violations.

What Are Some of the Most Common Labor Law Violations?

Minimum Wage Violations

According to California’s minimum wage laws, as of January 1, 2018, the state’s minimum wage was $11.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. These rates do not include overtime pay and other forms of compensation.


Your overtime pay should be 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in a workday or over 40 hours in a week. Moreover, you’re entitled to double the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 12 hours in a workday.

If you work seven days in a workweek, then you must be paid 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for the first eight hours on the seventh consecutive day. You’re also entitled to double the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours on the seventh workday.

This means that you have a claim against your employer if he violates any of the California labor laws on overtime.

Meal and Rest Break Violations

Meal and rest breaks are also part of your employee rights. Employers in California must provide non-exempt employees with at least one uninterrupted 30-minute unpaid meal break if they work more than five hours, as well as a second meal break if they surpass 10 hours. Employers are liable for violating California labor laws on breaks if they don’t follow these statutes.

Emergency Leave Violations

Federal and state laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), are applicable to California employers with 50 or more employees. These laws require covered employers to provide leaves for personal illness, to attend to sick family members, and in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.

If you’ve asked for emergency leaves and was denied, or was allowed to take the leave but experienced retaliation from your employer later on, then your employer is guilty of violating federal and state laws related to emergency leaves.

Seek the Help of an Experienced Labor Law Attorney if Your Rights Have Been Violated

Never attempt to settle your case on your own, as your employer may have the resources and connections to frustrate your claims. If you want your claim for damages against your employer to be successful, you’ll need the expertise of an experienced labor law attorney.

Mesriani Law Group has over two decades of experience in protecting victims of employment and labor law violations in California. The firm offers a “No Win, No Fee” guarantee to all clients. This means you won’t have to settle any legal fees unless they’re able to deliver you the justice you deserve.

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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