Answers from a Los Angeles Lawyer
Am I protected by federal law and state law?
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.
Do I qualify for overtime pay?
All employees qualify for overtime except for exempt employees.
What defines an exempt employee?
Exempt employees may manage people and exercise independent business judgment.
What does “managing people” include?
If you hire and fire people, you are considered in a position of management. Simply training employees or scheduling doesn't count as management.
If my title is “Manager,” am I an exempt employee?
Unless you exercise independent business judgment and are in charge of hiring and firing people, you do not qualify as an exempt employee.
I receive a salary, not hourly pay. Does that mean I am exempt?
No, you are not an exempt employee if you do not exercise independent business judgment and manage other employees.
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?
No, if the company has the 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.
When does overtime begin?
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.
For work over 40 hours per week but not more than 7 hours on any day, am I entitled to overtime?
All employees who work more than 40 hours a week deserve overtime.
My employer makes me work after l have logged out. Can I receive overtime?
Absolutely. If you can prove that this was commonplace and provide proof of your hours, the court may compensate you according to your estimate.
I am paid in cash. Does that change overtime pay?
No. The laws apply regardless if you are paid in cash.
What are penalties for failing to pay overtime?
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.
What is the statute of limitation for me to claim overtime?
There is a three-year statute which can be extended an additional year.
I am no longer an employee there. Can I still claim overtime?
Yes. There is a three-year statute of limitation. You must make a claim within the three-year period.
Can I be fired for asking to be paid overtime?
No. Your employer would be charged with retaliation and subsequently be held responsible for any lost wages, present, and future, and emotional suffering and punitive damages.
What evidence do I have to have to win my case?
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.
If you have additional questions, contact our Harvard graduate Alan Burton Newman today for a free case review at (310) 986-2792.