As an employee in Los Angeles, it’s critical that you are being paid for all of the hours that you work.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) there are certain protections afforded to employees that establish minimum standards with respect to labor practices, wages, and hours.

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In addition to federal laws, the state of California offers a Labor Code that creates even more protections for employees. Unpaid wages can come in many forms and as an employee you have a right to the compensation that you have earned. If you feel as though you are a victim of unpaid wages, there are legal remedies available to you.

What Constitutes Unpaid Wages

Both federal and state laws are designed to protect employee rights to earn a fair wage for hours worked. However, even with these laws in place, employers often fail to properly pay their workers. And whether it is accidental or malicious does not matter. If you were not reimbursed for work expenses, not properly compensated for holiday hours, never received commission you were owed, or even not provided with a final paycheck that reimburses unused vacation days, then you may be a victim of unpaid wages.

There are many forms of unpaid wages, if you feel as though you have not been properly compensated for your time, contact our law office today to ensure that your rights are protected.

Unpaid Overtime
According to federal law, employers are required to pay overtime to qualifying employees at a rate of one and one half times your normal hourly pay. Over time pay is required when a nonexempt employee works over forty hours in a workweek. In addition to time and a half, California offers double-time pay. Double-time pay is required after a nonexempt employee works over 12 hours a day or 8 hours on the seventh day of work in a week. If your employer has neglected to pay you the overtime you rightly deserve, then you are entitled to the difference.

There are many exemptions to over-time pay in California, which means that certain employees may not qualify for overtime due to their classification. As a way to save money, employers often misclassify employees in order to avoid paying overtime. Misclassification occurs when a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor or if an employee is given a “promotion” to a position in management without new job responsibilities. Under AB5, the number of workers who actually qualify as independent contractors has decreased immensely. If your employer has not updated your employment status to reflect new laws, you may be able to bring a misclassification lawsuit.

Contact Ghozland Law Firm to learn the legal remedies you can take today.

Minimum Wage Violation
The minimum wage set by the federal government is $7.25 per hour. However, the state of California offers a much higher minimum wage (and that number continues to increase).

California State Minimum Wage

Effective Date
(≤25 Employees)
Large Employers
(26+ Employees)
Small Employers
1/1/2020 $13 per hour $12 per hour
1/1/2021 $14 per hour $13 per hour
1/1/2022 $15 per hour $14 per hour
1/1/2023 $15 per hour $15 per hour

The State minimum wage will rise $1 per hour on January 1 of each year until it reaches $15 per hour for both small and large employers in 2023.

City of Los Angeles and Unincorporated Areas of Los Angeles County

In May 2015, the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 2020. After that, the minimum wage will increase annually pegged to a measure of inflation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Small businesses, as well as non-profits that have received an exemption, have an extra year to comply.

Effective Date
(≤25 Employees)
Large Employers
(26+ Employees)
Small Employers
7/1/2019 $14.25 per hour $13.25 per hour/td>
7/1/2020 $15 per hour $14.25 per hour
7/1/2021 $15 per hour $15 per hour
7/1/2022 Inflation-Adjusted Inflation-Adjusted

Unlike most states, California does not exclude waiters and waitresses from the state minimum wage. Even if you earn a significant portion through tips, you are entitled to earn the minimum wage set forth by the state of California or your local area.

Meal and Rest Breaks

According to the wage and hour law in the state of California, nonexempt employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break if they work more than 5 hours in a day and two 30-minute meal breaks if they work over 10. However, an employee working a shift over 5 hours is able to waive their 30-minute break as long as the employee works less than 6 hours. In addition, an employee working a shift over 10 hours may wave their second lunch as long as their shift is less than 12 hours.

Often times, employers will schedule employees for less than five hours per shift in order to avoid offering a 30-minute meal break. In this case, you are entitled to rest breaks. Every four hours of work, an employee in the state of California is entitled to a 10-minute rest break.

If your employer has denied you a lunch or meal break during a shift, there are legal remedies that you can take in order to protect your rights.

At Ghozland Law Firm our top priority is to determine the best outcome for all of our clients. Although filing a claim against your employer might feel as though your job could be in jeopardy, both state and federal law protects employees from Retaliation Firings.

As an employee, it is important that you are paid fairly for the hours you work. Unpaid wages can come in many forms and if you believe that your employer has denied you of your basic rights provided by both federal and state law, contact our firm today.

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    When an individual hires us, our team works hard to provide the best possible and settlement possible for their case. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they are given the ability to recuperate from their injuries, while we handle the legal side of things. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no fee until we receive a favorable outcome for your case. Our firm also proudly provides free case evaluations to all potential clients, which we encourage you to fill out as soon as possible.