On behalf of The Rager Law Firm posted on September 10, 2017
Many employees throughout the United States have experienced at least one incident of wage fraud. Employers simply fail to compensate them for their work and provide them with the benefits they are entitled to receive. Although this behavior is illegal is far more common than we would like to think. The best approach to handling these circumstances is hiring a well-versed Los Angeles wage fraud attorney.
Overtime violations and minimum wage are the most common categories of wage fraud. Payroll fraud is also very common. But let’s take a closer look at these categories:
Minimum wage – This is the lowest hourly wage employers are legally bound to pay under state and federal laws. There are also civil penalties against employers who fail to pay the minimum hourly wages to nonexempt employees. If you believe you are being paid less than the minimum wage required, you can seek compensation for the hours worked. As of January 1, 2017 the current federal minimum in California is $10.50.
Payroll fraud – Unfortunately, payroll fraud happens in almost 30% of businesses across our nation and it occurs almost twice as often in small businesses. The best way to catch the fraud is by talking to someone other than the company or person running your payroll.
Ghost employees – Ghost employees are nonexistent. Sometimes you think your employer is paying a ghost employee when in reality the money is going into his pockets.
Overtime violations – This is also very common. Employers sometimes fail to compensate their employees for the extra hours they poured. If you are an exempt employee, your employer is not required to pay you for overtime. But if you are a non-exempt employee, you must be paid for every hour you worked over forty.
Comp time instead of overtime – Some employers fail to pay their employees their overtime hours and instead give their employees “comp time” or hours they can use for sick or vacation time. This is illegal as only state and local government employees are included in this category.
Half time – This is when employers choose to pay half time to their employees for overtime work. This is legal in some scenarios but the employer must meet certain criteria in order to qualify
Withholding tips – This when the employer steals the tips from tipped workers. It’s fraud very common among restaurant workers. The company or restaurant you work for can only keep your tips if it follows wage and hour laws.
How much you can get in a lawsuit?
It all depends on your circumstances and the expertise of your Los Angeles wage fraud attorney. You can sue for wages you have lost during the two years prior to filing your lawsuit. When the court determines your employer did not respect the law, you may recover compensation for all the money you have lost. The sooner you contact an attorney the more chances to obtain the compensation you seek. Call us today and schedule your initial case evaluation.