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Employment and labor law violations can occur anywhere at any time in the workplace. However, most employees think that employment law and workplace violations that can be reported and warrant legal action are only limited to cases that involve harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. Employees more easily recognize these types of employment and labor law violations because they go against generally accepted principles of justice and fair play, and therefore are more often reported.
However, other employment rights that many employees are not familiar with can also be readily violated by unjust employers. Some of these labor law violations are non-payment or underpayment of minimum or mandated wage, overtime, meal, and rest breaks. These violations can also include disallowing employees from filing for leaves and misclassifications by employers as exempt employees or independent contractors.
Your labor law rights are essential since they can contribute to your career growth and financial stability. In worst-case scenarios, violations of your fundamental workers’ rights by your employer can eventually lead to more grave situations and outcomes such as wrongful termination or constructive discharge. If you believe that you are being discriminated against by your employer or you are not provided with your rightful employee benefits which are mandated by state and federal laws, you have the right to seek damages against your employer for unpaid benefits and other non-monetary losses.
It is ill-advised to negotiate your claims and reach for a settlement with your employer on your own. Instead of pursuing your claims alone, you should first inform the incident to the Human Resources Department of where you are working. You can do this either through the phone, via email, or by writing a formal letter of complaint or grievance. If you are still not given the justice you deserve, the next logical action is to seek legal help from Mesriani Law Group’s expert Los Angeles labor law violations attorneys who have the experience and resources to fight for your rights.
What to Do in Case of California Labor Law Violations?
Labor laws not only relate to an employee’s welfare in the workplace but are also associated with an employee’s wages and other benefits at work. Violations of your labor rights cover acts relating to non-payment or underpayment of the minimum wage, overtime benefits, company-mandated breaks such as meal and rest breaks, as well as misclassifications by employers as independent contractors or exempt employees, among others.
Right to Mandated Wage
As an employee, you are provided by law the right to have the mandated minimum wage. No contract signed by you or your employer can prevent you from getting minimum wage or force you to take less than the prescribed minimum wage. As of January 2019, the mandated minimum wage in California is $11 an hour for companies with less than 25 employees while the minimum wage for employees in companies with 26 or more employees is $12 an hour. However, your right to acquire at least a minimum wage does not include your right to additional benefits from your work and employer such as overtime pay, tips, and other forms of compensation.
Your Computed Overtime Pay
As an employee in California, your employer should pay you an equivalent of 1.5 times your regular wage rate for time worked past eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Additionally, if you worked for more than 12 hours in a day and worked past eight hours on a seventh consecutive workday in any week, you are entitled to be paid double your hourly wage. Your employer is subject to labor law violations if he or she does not give you your mandated overtime pay.
Meals and Rest Breaks
You are also provided by law the standard minimum rest and meal breaks. Your meal break is 30 minutes long if you work for more than five hours, with an additional second meal period if your work is more than 10 hours. You can waive these rights only if you work for not more than 6 hours in a day. Otherwise, any denial of your employer to give you a meal and rest break would open your employer to liabilities on account of labor law violations.
Other than the factors mentioned above, your employer also needs to provide you with paid sick days and emergency leaves as mandated by state and federal laws. These family emergencies can refer to instances when you fall seriously ill or when one of your immediate family members falls sick and needs emergency medical treatment or passes away. If you file for sick leave or seek emergency leaves on account of a serious family emergency or tragedy, but your employer either disapproves it or proceed to subsequently harasses you because of your act of obtaining your leave rights, then your employer is violating your labor law rights.
Seek Assistance from Top Employment Lawyers in Los Angeles
You have the right to seek damages against your employer if he or she violates any of the instances mentioned above. However, you should never negotiate your claims and reach for a settlement with your employer on your own. Pursuing your claims alone minimizes your chances of proving your claims and also risk waiving your claims due to your lack of knowledge about labor law violations and other proper legal proceedings.
Negotiating your claims against your employer on your own is ill-advised since your employer has the financial resources to hire lawyers who are adept in defending employers from liabilities and class action lawsuits. These defense lawyers are used to exploiting loopholes in policies and minimal inaccuracies in your claims, which can consequently make you waive your claims due to technicalities.
The best way to handle your claims against your employer is to seek legal representation from expert labor law and employment attorneys. These legal experts have vast experience in managing class action lawsuits and can help you in obtaining the best compensation you deserve against your employer in question.