Wage and Hour Attorneys
If you believe your employer has violated California wage and hour laws, Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC can help. Shimoda has experienced attorneys who understand California wage and hour laws. Employees have a right to compensation if their employers violate state wage and hour laws, also known as wage theft.
What is Wage Theft?
As the name suggests, wage theft occurs when employers do not pay workers according to the law.
Wage theft examples include:
- Failure to pay California’s minimum wage ($14 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $13 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees as of Jan. 1, 2021).
- Failure to pay overtime (One and half times regular pay for any work more than eight hours in one workday or 40 hours in one workweek).
- Required off-the-clock work
- Failure to provide uninterrupted 30-minute meal and 10-minute rest breaks
- Misclassifying employees as exempt from wage and hour requirements
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
California law prohibits whistleblower retaliation against and the wrongful termination of employees who assert their rights granted to them by the state’s wage and hour laws.
If you suspect your employer is violating or has violated California wage and hour laws, contact Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC to pursue legal action.
What Damages Can I Collect From Proving Wage and Hour Violations?
If successful in proving your employer violated California wage and hour laws, you may be entitled to collect:
- Any unpaid, minimum wages, straight time and/or contract wages due
- Unpaid premiums due such as overtime, meal and rest period premiums, etc.
- Interest accrued on any unpaid wages
- Statutory and/or civil penalties
- Attorney’s fees and litigation costs
State law entitles you to an additional hour’s pay at your regular rate for each day you were not provided a legally compliant meal period. State law also entitles you to an additional hour’s pay at your regular rate for each day you were not provided with a legally compliant rest period.
You cannot collect damages for emotional distress, like in a wrongful termination lawsuit, when you file a wage theft lawsuit against your employer or former employer.
How Do I Prove Wage and Hour Violations?
The following items will be helpful in proving your lost wage claims, although they are not necessarily required to be successful in court:
- Paychecks and paystubs
- Your employment agreement
Do you need help navigating California state employee laws, resources, regulations, and processes? Our firm will guide you step-by-step to ensure you receive your legally entitled compensation.
How We Approach Wage Theft Cases
- Initial consultation: Our attorneys will speak with you and gather the specifics about your case.
- Review & Plan: Once we have the specifics and the documentation of your wage theft case, our team can build a legal strategy to achieve your best outcome.
- Representation & Resolution: While we will explore whether amicable resolution with your employer is possible, there are times where the matter must go to court. In this instance, our firm will aggressively represent you and pursue an outcome in your best interest.
Mr. Shimoda and his staff were very helpful and patient during the whole process of my case. The thing that really stood out was the communication and honesty regarding my case. Mr. Shimoda was very upfront and told me what exactly to expect during each phase of my case and was able to get me the favorable outcome I was hoping to get. I will definitely be referring all of my family and friends to Shimoda Law.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wage and Hour Violations
What should I do if my employer violates California wage and hour laws?
The strength of a wage and hour claim is primarily based on the frequency of wage theft. Your potential award from a one- or two-time violation may be minimal, at best.
If you are not the only employee suffering from wage theft, you and your coworkers can file a joint class-action lawsuit, where the frequency of wage and hour law violations spread across the company’s personnel will bolster the case.
What should I do if I don't still have the required documents for a claim?
If you do not have a complete copy of your records, you can request your personnel file from your employer.
State law requires your current or previous employer to keep your personnel records on file for a minimum of three years after the termination of employment.
Current and former employees (or a representative) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of personnel files and records that relate to an employee’s performance or any grievance concerning the employee.
Employers must provide a copy of personnel records, at a charge not exceeding the actual cost of reproduction, no more than 21 days from the date the employer receives a written request from an employee, former employee, or representative – failure to comply results in a penalty of $750.
Guidance from the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement lists the following items as personnel records:
- Application for employment
- Payroll authorization form
- Notices of commendation, warning, discipline, and/or termination
- Notices of layoff, leave of absence, and vacation
- Notices of wage attachment or garnishment
- Education and training notices and records
- Performance appraisals/reviews
- Attendance records
How long does a wage theft case take?
The time it takes to litigate a wage theft lawsuit varies for each specific case. Generally, wage claims filed in civil court may be resolved in six months to two years, depending on whether a settlement was reached or the matter had to go to trial.
Do I need a wage and hour lawyer near me?
While it is unnecessary to hire an expert attorney familiar with minimum wage and overtime laws near your city of employment, there are key benefits. Hiring a local lawyer can expedite the process, as they can file cases with local courts. Our team of wage and hour law specialists is centrally located in California, not far from Sacramento, allowing us to serve employees effectively and efficiently.