Unpaid wage claims can be extremely expensive for employers in all ranges of business, from janitorial services to high level professional services. The California Labor Commissioner recently demonstrated this by filing citations against a bay area janitorial services company, the Little Lopez Corporation, which allegedly denied overtime and breaks to employees.
The Labor Commissioner’s investigation revealed that the company forced employees to sign blank timesheets so that they could falsify records. According to a press release issued by the Labor Commissioner the company also denied the workers 10 minute breaks because they were forced to combine their breaks during their lunch time.
The Little Lopez Corporation provides janitorial services for many large supermarkets throughout Northern California, including Raley’s and FoodMaxx. The citations included $236,175 for wages that should have been paid to workers, as well as $96,500 in civil penalties.
California Wage and Hour Law
California requires all non-exempt employees who work more than 8 hours a day to be paid at 1 and ½ times their normal hourly rate. Any time a non-exempt employee works over 40 in a week must also be paid at the time and a half rate. Employees must be allowed to take a 30 minute uninterrupted break before their 5th hour of work.
When employers violate these or other labor codes filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner is not the only way to get the wages that your employer owes you. In fact, filing a private lawsuit is often advantageous to filing a claim with the labor commissioner. First, if you file a private lawsuit against your employer you are entitled to perform discovery to get enough evidence to prove that a violation occurred. Getting an attorney in a private lawsuit is also advantageous because an employer can appeal a labor commission claim to a court within 60 days of the decision, which leaves you with little time to get an attorney willing to take the case.
Claim Your Unpaid Wages Today
If you suspect that your employer has failed to pay your wages due contact the Temecula labor board attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael S. Cunningham. Call (858) 376-7390 for a free consultation today.