Labor Law Attorney Chris Olsen Can Protect Your Rights
You work hard for a living, and you deserve to be fairly compensated for your labor. When an employer tries to take advantage of you by refusing payment for your work, it can result in enormous financial pressure for you and your family. If you are being denied state-mandated breaks, or if your employer refuses to compensate you for overtime or work related-expenses, you deserve justice. Chris Olsen is a labor law attorney serving workers in the greater San Diego, CA, area. He is passionate about employment law and business law and has obtained millions for his clients in negotiation and litigation. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today.
Non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime.
Under California law, minimum wage is $10.50 an hour, and employers must pay at least this amount without exception. If an employee agrees to work for less, the arrangement is not considered legally binding. Unfortunately, many employers still try to avoid paying minimum wage by:
- Asking an employee to arrive early or stay late without pay
- Refusing to pay for time spent driving from job site to job site
- Unfairly labeling workers as “independent contractors”
- Hiring undocumented immigrant workers without fair pay
If you are being denied a legal wage, or you have not been paid for hours worked, you should seek immediate legal action. Chris Olsen will put his knowledge of minimum wage law to work to obtain your fairly earned wages. He is also willing to take on large corporations and has successfully waged several class action lawsuits against companies that were mistreating large numbers of employees.
Meal and Rest Breaks
The California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders dictate that employers must provide employees with regular paid breaks throughout the work day. In most cases, this mandate translates into a ten-minute break for every four hours of work, not including time to use the restroom. Employers are also required to provide a space besides the restroom where employees can rest during work hours. Since rest breaks are paid time, employers can use their best judgement to schedule breaks at times when workflow will not be interrupted.
For any employee working more than six hours, the employer is required to provide a meal break of at least 30 minutes. If you work more than 10 and less than 12 hours in a day, you are entitled to a second meal break. You are allowed to waive the second break, however, both you and your employer must consent. If you believe your employer has denied you the breaks to which you are entitled, Chris Olsen can protect your rights and help ensure you experience no retaliation for taking action.
By law, California employers must reimburse workers for business expenses, including:
- Mileage and gas for travelling from location to location
- Items purchased for the business
- Uniforms and maintenance of uniforms
- Required maintenance and repair of work equipment
- Required cell phone
- Required home office
If your employer is not compensating you for these or similar items, you may be entitled to repayment and interest for incurred expenses. Chris Olsen will conduct an extensive investigation of your business expenses and wages. If he determines you are being denied just payment, he will work to recover your expenses and secure compensation for your trouble.
California law divides workers into two categories: exempt and non-exempt. Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime, whereas exempt employees are not. Under both federal and state law, if a non-exempt worker puts in more than 40 hours a week, employers are required to pay time and a half for every extra hour. The laws regulating exempt and non-exempt employees can be quite complex. In general, exempt workers are skilled workers who work under little supervision, including doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Non-exempt workers are typically not in management positions and are involved in the day-to-day production of goods or services. If you are a non-exempt worker and believe you have been unfairly denied overtime, Chris Olsen can determine your eligibility for extra payment and fight to secure the wages you deserve.
Overtime Wage Retaliation
The Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects the right of non-exempt workers to overtime pay. It is important to take the necessary legal steps when you are treated unjustly. However, after an employee files an overtime lawsuit, the employer may attempt to take a retaliatory action against the employee. Such actions might include firing or demoting the employee, or disciplining or mistreating the employee. Any type of retaliation is illegal, and can be reported. In order to ensure your claim receives the attention it deserves, it may be necessary to report the claim to an external agency. If you are facing retaliation for filing an overtime complaint, keep track of dates, times, and associated actions. There is no need to suffer under harassment or other forms of retaliation. Chris Olsen can advocate for your position and your rights.
Filing a Wage Claim
In California, the process of filing a wage claim requires several steps. You will need to file your claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), which is also known as the Labor Commissioner’s office. A wage claim can recover many different forms of compensation including unpaid wages, overtime, unused vacation hours not paid upon termination, unauthorized paycheck deductions, unpaid wages, and more.
The first step is to file an initial claim form at the Labor Commissioner’s office in the county where you worked. Once it is filed, the office will likely send both you and your employer a notice for a Pre-Hearing Conference, which is mandatory. You should arrive at that meeting with all the evidence you have and be prepared to prove that you are owed money, and how much you should receive. The official in charge will try to reach a settlement between you and your employer. If a settlement is not reached, they will decide whether to dismiss your case or allow it to proceed.
If you are being denied your wages, you need excellent legal representation.
If your case continues, you will receive a Notice of Hearing. A hearing is a less formal version of a trial, during which time a hearing official will listen to the dispute and make a decision. Once again, you must be ready to prove every aspect of your claim with detailed evidence. You can present documents and witness testimony at the hearing. You should receive notice of the decision within 15 days. Either you are your employer can appeal the decision to the California Supreme Court.
It can be difficult to navigate the complex legal issues of a wage claim hearing. Having an attorney who understands this process is a great asset as you pursue your case. Chris Olsen can advocate for your rights throughout your wage claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are being denied your wages, you need excellent legal representation. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (619) 550-9352. Chris Olsen will take as much time as necessary to examine the intricacies of your case, and after taking you on as a client, he will provide strong representation to obtain your rightful wages.