CALIFORNIA MISCLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES – THE LIES EMPLOYERS TELL EMPLOYEES

If you work in California, then you  know that some (not all!) employers will do just about anything to save themselves money, and not pay employees what they are owed…

One thing that employers can do to employees is to misclassify them.

Some California workers do not receive minimum wages.

Some California workers do not get overtime pay.

Some California workers do not get pay for meals and breaks.

Whether it is on purpose, or accidentally, California employers can treat certain groups of employees as exempt from overtime pay. When they do this, the employer is not obligated to pay that group of employees overtime.

Think about that.

If your employer MISCLASSIFIED you as exempt from overtime, how much money would that cost you? How much money would that cost you every day? Every week? Every pay period? Every year?

Misclassification is workplace fraud, plain and simple,” said US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. “It hurts workers by denying them a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, and it also undermines the competitiveness of businesses that are playing by the rules. At the Labor Department, through vigilant and vigorous enforcement, we are cracking down on irresponsible employers who game the system and cheat their employees — and that’s what they are: not contractors, but employees.”

Thankfully, there are solutions. There is help out there!

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?

Because some California employers misclassify some workers as independent contractors instead of as employees. In fact, there are and have been a number of recent cases that address just this issue.

WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF EMPLOYEE MISCLASSIFICATION?

There are many. A good recent example happened right here in California. Sav-on Drug Stores both managers and assistant sales managers claimed they had been misclassified as exempt from overtime.

These managers performed all the duties an employee would — spent their time working just lie a regular employee would — yet were allegedly still denied overtime pay.

Sometimes misclassification occurs when an employer labels an employee an “Independent Contractor.” There are certain positions that are more likely to be misclassified. Take a look at some of positions that have possibly been wrongfully classified as an “Independent Contractor:”

  • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WORKERS
  • COMPUTER-RELATED WORKERS
  • TRANSPORTATION WORKERS
  • FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT MANAGERS
  • RETAIL STORE MANAGERS
  • NAIL SALON EMPLOYEES
  • MESSAGE PARLORS
  • TRUCK DRIVERS
  • DELIVERY DRIVERS
  • MESSENGERS
  • HAIR SALONS
  • BARBER SHOPS
  • VETERINARY CLINICS
  • DENTAL OFFICE WORKERS

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF…

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, then you may be owed money…

  • HAS YOUR EMPLOYER TOLD YOU THAT YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?
  • DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE AN EMPLOYEE RATHER THAN AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?
  • DOES YOUR EMPLOYER DENY MEAL OR REST BREAKS OR REFUSE TO PAY OVER TIME BECAUSE IT CLAIMS YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?

HOW DO WORKERS KNOW WHETHER THEY HAVE BEEN MISCLASSIFIED AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a worksheet that describes the factors that courts generally consider under the Fair Labor Standards Act when determining whether an employment relationship exists. These include:

  • THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE WORK PERFORMED IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE EMPLOYER’S BUSINESS;
  • WHETHER THE WORKER’S MANAGERIAL SKILLS AFFECT HIS OR HER OPPORTUNITY FOR PROFIT AND LOSS;
  • THE RELATIVE INVESTMENTS IN FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT BY THE WORKER AND THE EMPLOYER;
  • THE WORKER’S SKILL AND INITIATIVE;
  • THE PERMANENCY OF THE WORKER’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EMPLOYER;
  • THE NATURE AND DEGREE OF CONTROL BY THE EMPLOYER.

CAN EMPLOYEES REALLY FIGHT BACK?

YES!

Read what the US department Of Labor had to say about two recent cases…

Two recent and very significant legal victories for California workers send a strong message to employers nationwide: if you misclassify your employees, you will face the consequences.

National Consolidated Couriers Inc., based in San Leandro but with clients across the country, has agreed to a court judgment requiring it to pay $5 million in back wages and damages to more than 600 drivers it misclassified as independent contractors, having cheated them out of minimum wage and overtime pay.”

In another major win for workers, a federal judge ruled that drivers for Mountain View-based Stanford Yellow Taxi Cab, Inc. were also misclassified. The court’s decision allows the department to continue with litigation forcing the company to pay nearly $3 million in back wages and damages to dozens of drivers.”

MOST CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES DO NOT KNOW THEIR RIGHTS!

That’s the unfortunate reality. Most California employees think that just because they work in an “at-will” state that they have no rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. Learn more about your employee rights. Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits!

Call 888-625-0959.

IM our Facebook page.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Medium, LinkedIn, or our blog.

See our videos!

Have a great day!

CALIFORNIA WAGE THEFT—–WHAT WORKERS NEED TO KNOW

Most California workers have no idea they may be victims of wage theft.

According to the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment’s report “Wage Theft and Workplace Violations in Los Angeles”, Los Angeles is the wage theft capital of the country.

 

The survey found that low-wage workers in Los Angeles regularly experience violations of basic laws that mandate a minimum wage and overtime pay and are frequently forced to work off the clock or during their breaks.

First, what is “wage theft”? According to the UCLA Labor Center, “Wage theft is the illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work including; violating minimum wage laws, not paying overtime, forcing workers to work off the clock, and much more. It is a major problem statewide. In Los Angeles alone, low-wage workers lose $26.2 million in wage theft violations every week–making it the wage theft capital of the country.”

Now, let’s dive a little deeper into the UCLA report:

http://irle.ucla.edu/old/publications/documents/LAwagetheft-Milkman-Narro-110.pdf

WHO IS MOST AFFECTED BY WAGE THEFT?

  • Approximately 17% of all workers in L.A. County work in low-wage industries and frequently experience violations of minimum wage, overtime and break-time laws;
  • Wage theft affects two thirds of the 750,000 low-wage workers in L.A. County;
  • The average worker loses more than $2,600 to wage theft – 15% of their annual income;
  • Workers in low-wage industries are most exposed to wage theft, including those employed by garment, cafeteria, fast-food, retail and residential construction businesses as well as those working as janitors and in restaurants or households.

MINIMUM WAGE VIOLATIONS

  • Almost 30 percent of the L.A. workers sampled were paid less than the minimum wage in the work week preceding the survey, a higher violation rate than in New York City, but with no statistically significant difference from Chicago.
  • The minimum wage violations were not trivial in magnitude: 63.3 percent of workers were underpaid by more than $1.00 per hour.

OVERTIME VIOLATIONS

  • Among all L.A. respondents, 21.3 percent worked more than forty hours for a single employer during the previous work week and were therefore at risk for an overtime violation. Over three-fourths (79.2 percent) of these at-risk workers were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers.
  • Like minimum wage violations, overtime violations were far from trivial in magnitude. Those L.A. respondents with an overtime violation had worked an average of ten overtime hours during the previous work week.

OFF-THE-CLOCK VIOLATIONS

  • Nearly one in five L.A. respondents (17.6 percent) stated that they had worked before and/or after their regular shifts in the previous work week and were thus at risk for off-the-clock violations. Within this group, 71.2 percent did not receive any pay at all for the work they performed outside their regular shift.

MEAL AND REST BREAK VIOLATIONS

  • Among all L.A. respondents, 89.6 percent worked enough consecutive hours to be legally entitled to a meal break. However, more than three-fourths of these at-risk workers (80.3 percent) experienced a meal break violation in the previous work week. The L.A. meal break violation rate was higher than that found in New York City, but Chicago had the lowest rate of the three cities.
  • California law requires employers to provide workers ten-minute rest breaks during each four-hour shift (or two ten-minute rest breaks in a standard eight-hour shift). However, this requirement is often violated. The survey found that 81.7 percent of respondents eligible for rest breaks were either denied a break entirely or had a shortened break during the previous work week.

HAVE YOU BEEN FIRED? HAVE YOU QUIT? ARE YOU OWED MONEY?

Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits! Call 888-625-0959. IM our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Medium, LinkedIn, our blog and check out our YouTube videos! Have a great day!