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Piece Rate Compensation

Orange County Piece Rate Pay Attorneys

California allows for employees to be paid in a myriad of ways. One of these options is ‘piece-rate’ compensation, whereby a person is not paid hourly but rather according to the number of units produced. For example, truck drivers getting paid based on each mile they drive. However, there are other rules and additional pay requirements under the California Labor Code regarding piece rate pay, which some employers fail to adhere to. When this occurs, employees are left underpaid. The Orange County employment attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm help these employees pursue legal action to ensure they receive their just and legal wages. Employers who take advantage of their employees should be held accountable, and our firm is dedicated to making sure piece-rate workers’ rights are advocated for. If you have questions about what payment you are due as a piece-rate employee, please contact our office at 1-800-LAW-8225 (800-529-8825) or online today.

Piece Rate Compensation Requirements and Protections

Piece-rate compensation refers to ‘work paid for according to the number of units turned out.’ This can include tasks - such as how many cars an auto mechanic works on; or by actual units - such as workers paid per item produced. Being paid only for units or tasks is not enough under the California Labor Code. Employees must also be paid for “rest and recovery periods” as well as “other nonproductive time.” Other nonproductive time refers to time, separate of rest or recovery periods, which is still under an employer’s control, but not directly related to the activity being compensated on a piece-rate basis. For example, taking down time between building a piece of furniture.

Employees must be paid no less than minimum wage for their nonproductive time. Further, pursuant to the Labor Code, employers must pay piece-rate employees the higher of their regularly hour rate or the applicable minimum wage for rest and recovery periods. If you believe you are not receiving proper compensation for these time frames, an experienced Orange County wage attorney can assist you in recovering what you are due from your employer.

Employers are also required to give employees itemized wage statements specifying their total hours of rest and recovery periods as well as nonproductive periods. The statements must also set out the rate of compensation for each period as well as the gross wages paid. Employees who are under a piece-rate compensation scheme should check their wage statements to be sure it complies with the law. Employers who fail to properly pay employees for breaks and other applicable hours can be held accountable not only for backpay but also other damages.

Piece-rate employees must also be paid for overtime  California requires payment for overtime rates to workers who work over 8 hours in a workday as well as over 40 hours in a workweek. A piece-rate worker’s overtime rate is 1.5 times their regular rate – which is based on the total earned amount for the week divided by their worked hours. It is important to note that piece-rate workers are not the same as those working for commissions and so these requirements do not apply to commission-based employees. Common employers that use the piece-rate system include those in the automotive and trucking industries, as well as furniture builders; plumbers and electricians; and pet groomers.

Employment Lawyers Serving Orange County

Piece rate compensation was meant to be a system that incentivizes workers, not take advantage of them. If your employer is not paying you properly for nonproductive periods, rest or meal breaks, or what you are due for overtime hours, you have legal recourse. Our Orange County employment law lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm are available to help you assert your rights as an employee and make sure you receive the wages due to you. We represent clients throughout Southern California including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Please contact our office today at 1-800-LAW-8225 (800-529-8825) or online to discuss your potential claim.

Client Reviews
"Integrity, competency, and compassion! Dimuth Amaratunga has represented me and counseled me in several matters over the last several years, and each time, I have benefited tremendously from his knowledge, his wisdom and his empathy. He is without a doubt an authority in employment law and personal injury. But most importantly, he has compassion and truly focused on getting the best result for his clients. I am a practicing attorney and I wholeheartedly recommend him and his firm!" David J.