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Understanding hazard pay in California wage and hour claims

| Jul 1, 2020 | Firm News

Wage and hour claims can be lodged for many reasons in California. Often, it is related to overtime, tips or failure to follow the law for hourly wages. However, there are other wages employees may be entitled to. One is hazard pay.

Workers who do jobs that place them in jeopardy may be eligible for hazard pay. The employer decides how much it should be and the conditions for which it can be granted. The employer will pay the employee extra in addition to a salary or wages to account for it. It could be a flat amount or a percentage increase of their salary. Hazard pay will only be provided for the time during which the worker is stationed in the hazardous conditions.

The law does not specify exactly what kinds of jobs are hazardous. Employers are not obligated to offer hazard pay, but it is a subject that could be addressed in a collective bargaining agreement. Non-union employees can also receive it. Workers injured or killed when working in hazardous situations after not being warned about the duties and risks can lead to the employer being deemed responsible.

There are certain industries that have a significant rate of worker fatality. These jobs could be categorized as hazardous: loggers, workers in the fishing industry, airplane pilots, roofers, waste collectors, transportation workers, farmers and those in agriculture, steel workers and structural workers, construction supervisors and those who work in extraction, and landscape supervisors. While these may be the considered the highest risk, any job in which a worker is subjected to dangerous conditions can be categorized as hazardous and warrant hazard pay. If there is a dispute over it, having legal assistance might be essential. A firm with experience in wage and hour law may be able to help.