The California minimum wage is currently set at $15.50 per hour. Unfortunately, not all employers comply with this law, resulting in minimum wage violations. If you are one of many employees who have experienced a minimum wage violation in California, then you need to know your rights.
This blog post is a comprehensive guide that will help you understand what is considered a minimum wage violation in California, the consequences for employers who violate the law, and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Are Minimum Wage Violations in California?
Minimum wage violations in California occur when employers do not pay their employees the expected minimum wage for the number of hours worked. One common way this happens is by failing to pay for all required hours worked, checking time incorrectly, or making employees perform tasks before or after clocking out.
Unlawful Pay Deductions
Minimum wage violations in California include an employer taking unlawfully low pay deductions from the wages. Violations may include charging employees for uniforms or tools, "loaning" them money and then taking it back outside of reasonable interest rates, or not reimbursing all legally required employment expenses, such as transportation costs.
Retaliation or Discrimination
An employer can be liable for minimum wage violations if they retaliate or discriminate against employees who file a complaint, particularly about minimum-wage violations.
If an employee successfully files a complaint or a lawsuit that shows they were a victim of retaliation, wage deductions, or discrimination, their employer could face significant legal consequences, including the obligation to pay monetary damages.
It is a criminal offense for employers to fail to provide their employees with proper documentation of their employment, mainly their hours worked during a pay period.
Employers should inform employees at hire what their expected wage will be for all work hours; however, they are often required to provide a wage statement outlining how that pay was calculated, including regular items like hourly pay and things like bonuses, tips, or overtime compensation.
How Can I File a Lawsuit For a Minimum Wage Violation in California?
If you believe your employer has violated California's minimum wage law, you have the right to file a lawsuit. You must first file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner's Office to do this.
The Labor Commissioner's Office will investigate the complaint and determine if any minimum wage violations have occurred. If violations have been found, the office may file a lawsuit on your behalf, and you may be entitled to recover lost wages, as well as interest and penalties.
How Can I Protect Myself From Minimum Wage Violations in California?
To protect yourself from minimum wage violations in California, knowing your rights as an employee is essential. Always ensure that you know your state's minimum wage and overtime laws.
If you believe your employer is violating the law, then speak to them first. Ask for clarification and try to resolve the issue with your employer amicably. If that doesn't work, file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner's Office.
If you believe you are a victim of minimum wage violations in California, our experienced labor law attorneys at Southern California Labor Law Group PC are here to help! Contact us today at (424) 306-1515.