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A lot of employees get confused when it comes to their wages. There is a common misconception that wage is equal to your salary or compensation. When computing your wage, keep in mind that this figure is not just composed of your hourly rate—it should include any and all compensation granted to you by your employer in exchange for services rendered. Whether you are working full time or part time, or on a piecemeal or commission basis, you are entitled to the full wage benefits granted by federal and state wage and hour laws. These include the mandated basic hourly pay of at least $10.50 per hour (for California employers with 25 or fewer employees), as well as other bonuses, benefits, compensation, and remuneration. Your wage computation must include the correct hours (including rest periods and meal breaks) billed for one day of work, overtime pay, and other mandated leaves.
It is not easy to compute your full wage as there are different factors that you need to take into consideration, like your basic pay, split-shifts, alternative work schedules, night differential, tips, and other income or compensation. Hence, if you feel that you are being shortchanged by your employer, the best thing to do is seek legal advice from Mesriani Law Group’s highly skilled disability, gender, marital status, religious, civil rights, pregnancy, racial, and age discrimination lawyers. These attorneys have vast knowledge of employees’ legal rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Labor Code provisions, and the Wage Orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
There is a big difference between knowing your rights and actively pursuing wage and hour claims against your erring employer. If you think there may be something amiss in the computation of your wage, don’t leave things to chance and seek immediate legal help from Mesriani Law Group’s expert wage and hour attorneys in Los Angeles who have decades of experience in representing California employees who are victims of all types of employment harassment and labor law violations.
How to Enforce Your Wage and Hour Claims with an Unpaid Wages Lawyer?
As a California-based employee, you should know that you are protected by law against diminution of wages, which includes all compensation or remuneration for the work you’ve performed. It doesn’t matter if you work full-time, part-time, on a piecemeal basis, and the like. You are entitled to at least the minimum wage provided for by both federal and state laws.
Wage and Hour Laws In California: What are the Laws that Protect You?
Aside from the Fair Labor Standards Act and its implementing rules and regulations (which is federal in nature), California laws are also in force to address any issues with unfair or unpaid wages. These wage and hour laws include various Labor Code provisions and Wage Orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs all workplace rules and labor standards throughout the United States. This federal law sets the standards employers must adhere to, such as the federal minimum wage. In some states, such as California, laws that protect employees to a much greater extent are free to be adopted. In terms of authority, the law that benefits employees most usually prevails.
Similar to the California Labor Code, the FLSA provides a procedure for wronged employees to pursue wage and hour violations claims with an administrative agency. In those cases, the Department of Labor and their Wage and Hour Division handles such claims. In many cases, however, pursuing a claim under the FLSA is less desirable than a claim brought under the California Labor Code. This ie because California law provides more extensive protections for employees than federal law.
To give an example, California has adopted a higher minimum wage than is required by federal law and provides more overtime rights than the FLSA. In instances where California wage and hour law is more favorable to an employee than federal law, it is completely logical for aggrieved employees to go after cases with the agency that is tasked with enforcing state law—the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
The Division Of Labor Standards Enforcement
Along with the aforementioned federal protections, aggrieved workers in California are also covered by the Labor Code and numerous regulations written and enforced by state administrative agencies. Generally, these wage and hour laws cover issues such as time and manner of paying wages, minimum wage requirements, and mandatory overtime pay.
The DLSE has the power to investigate and hold a hearing on employee complaints about violations of these laws and regulations, and it can make a decision on the matter as long as it is within its jurisdiction.
If you are not familiar with the foregoing laws, it is best to seek legal help from an unpaid wages lawyer when it comes to employment and labor law issues. Aside from the complexities of the laws involved, there is also the matter of going through the correct or proper legal processes in filing your claims and in obtaining your rightful compensation from your negligent or unjust employer.
Evidence Required for Wage and Hour Violation Claims
To secure proper compensation against the other party, you need to know that providing proof or evidence is essential in your wage and hour violation claim. Hence, make sure to keep all your employment records or at least try to obtain them from your employer prior to filing your case because these documents can easily be destroyed or changed.
The evidence you would need to prove non-payment or underpayment of your wage includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Basic time and earnings cards
- Wage rate tables
- Work schedules
- Order, shipping, and billing records
- Records of additions to or deductions from wages
Aside from the foregoing, you can also obtain records of past complaints against your employer for violations of similar provisions of the Labor Code, and you can also seek help from your co-employees by asking them for witness declarations of their own experiences and unjust treatments perpetrated by your employer.
Seek Legal Help from Top Wage and Hour Attorneys in Los Angeles
With all the necessary processes and legalities involved, having top Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys in your corner is your best means of getting the compensation you deserve. If you want to make sure that you are able to claim the rest of your wage and hour compensation as well as seek remuneration for damages, including pain and suffering, you need to seek legal assistance from Los Angeles wage & hour attorneys who can deliver you satisfactory results at the quickest time possible.