Q. Am I protected by federal law and state law?
A. Under Federal law's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California state law's Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC), you are protected. All employment claims should be brought under California state law since it affords superior protection.
Q. Do I qualify for overtime pay?
A. All employees qualify for overtime except for exempt employees.
Q. What defines an exempt employee?
A. Exempt employees may manage people and/or exercise independent business judgement.
Q. What does “managing people” include?
A. If you hire and fire people, you are considered in a position of management. Simply training employees or scheduling doesn't count as management..
Q. If my title is “Manager,” am I an exempt employee?
A. Unless you exercise independent business judgement and/or are in charge of hiring and firing people, you do not qualify as an exempt employee.
Q. I receive a salary, not hourly pay. Does that mean I am exempt?
A. No, you are not an exempt employee if you do not exercise independent business judgement and/or manage other employees.
Q. The company has me classified as an independent contractor. It claims that it does not have to comply with wage and hour laws. Is this legal?
A. No, if the company has right to control what you do, when you do it and how you do it, you are an employee and entitled to your rights under wage and hour law.
Q. When does overtime begin?
A. For any work in addition to 8 hours, employees ought to receive time and a half. After 12 hours, employees should be paid double time.
Q. For work over 40 hours per week but not in excess of 7 hours on any day, am I entitled to overtime?
A. All employees who work in excess of 40 hours a week deserve overtime.
Q. My employer makes me work after l have logged out. Can I receive overtime?
A. Absolutely. If you can prove that this was commonplace and provide proof of your hours, the court may compensate you according to your estimate.
Q. I am paid in cash. Does that change overtime pay?
Q. I am not legally in this country. Will that make a difference?
Q. What are penalties for failing to pay overtime?
A. There is a $50 penalty for the first pay period and a $100 penalty for each pay period after that for a maximum of $4,000.
Q. What is the statute of limitation for me to claim overtime?
A. There is a three-year statute which can be extended an additional year.
Q. I am no longer an employee there. Can I still claim overtime?
A. Yes. Additional penalties for your 1 day of wages and up to 30 days of wages may apply.
Q. Can I be fired for asking to be paid overtime?
A. No. You employer would be charged with retaliation and subsequently be held responsible for any lost wages, present and future, and for emotional suffering and punitive damages.
Q. What evidence do I have to have to win my case?
A. Each case is different. I will personally discuss with you the facts of your case, what additional facts we need to find, the likelihood of prevailing and the money you may expect to receive as damages.
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