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Wage and Hour Claims - General Rules and Violations

General Overtime Rules

Under the Labor Code 510 if the employee works more than 8 hours or 40 hours in a workweek or if the employee works seven consecutive days, the employee must be compensated at the rate of 1.5 times the employee's regular rate of pay. If an employee works more than 12 hours in a single day or more than 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of a workweek, the employee must receive double time the regular rate of pay. In order to calculate these overtime hours, one must multiply the rate of pay times 1.5 and for double time, one must multiply the rate of pay times 2.0.

Complex Overtime Calculations of Flat Sums Bonuses

If an employee is obtaining a discretionary bonus such as holiday pay, the regular rate of pay does not change. If an employee is receiving a performance bonus, then the rate of pay changes and the employer is required to change the overtime rate for the length of the bonus (could be one time pay or for a period of time). If the regular rate of pay changes, then the overtime rate of pay must change as well and needs to be included in the check with the bonus.

In order to calculate the amount of pay that must be given to an employee for overtime due on bonuses, the bonus has to be divided by the number of straight-time hours the employee worked for the pay period the bonus was offered and needs to be added to the regular pay rate. Once the employer calculates the pay rate for when the bonus was provided, the employer needs to pay at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for the overtime covered by the bonus.

Paying Overtime on Commissions for Non-Exempt Employees

Calculating the overtime on commission is very similar to calculating the overtime on bonuses. The commission needs to be calculated by dividing the number of straight-time hours worked by the employee during the pay period covered by the commission. This total is then added to the employee's normal hourly pay in order to determine the amount of regular pay. Once that is calculated, then the employer needs to pay the employee for overtime owed and double time if applicable.

Meal & Rest Breaks Penalties

Each non-exempt employee is entitled to receive a 10-minute paid uninterrupted rest break for each 4 hours of the employee's shift. 30-minutes uninterrupted unpaid meal breaks must be provided within the first 5 hours of the employee's shift. If your employer fails to provide the employee with the opportunity to take a meal or rest break, the employer needs to pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular pay rate as penalty for each day that a meal or rest break was not provided.

Waiting Time Penalties

Labor Code 201(a) states that a terminated employee must be paid all earned wages owed immediately. If the employee resigns the employer must pay all wages earned within 72 hours from his resignation. For failure to do so, under Labor Code 203, the employer needs to pay a penalty of up to 30 days of additional pay. The amount will be calculated by the number of days of non-payment multiplied by the employee’s daily wage rate.

Wage Statement Violations

If an employee receives an incorrect paystub with missing information, an issue can arise for a claim in violation of Labor Code 226(e). There are certain pieces of information required to be on the paystubs under the Labor Code 226, the employee is deemed to have suffered injury. If the wage statement is incomplete or inaccurate, the employee can recover $50 or more in damages for the first violation of the wage statement. For each subsequent violation, the employee can recover $100 or more in damages. The total amount of damages an employee can obtain for wage statement violations for statutory damages based on Labor Code 226(e)(1) is $4,000.

Consult a Knowledgeable Wage and Hour Lawyers in Orange County

If you believe your employer is violating any of the foregoing Labor Codes or you are unsure whether you are paid correct wages, you should consult the employment attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm. We represent people in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Call us at 1-800-LAW-8825 (800-529-8825) or complete our online form.

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