Most of the complaints at the workplace involved employee complaints that the employer failed to pay them for all the hours worked. The employees have the right to raise these complaints. This is because most of the employers don’t keep electronic time systems that should be used while paying non-exempt workers. There is every reason to pay every amount spent by an employee, any seconds being rounded up to the nearest minute. According to California wage and hour laws, hourly employees should be paid for all the hours they work. This included all the hours an employee is under the control of the employer or the hours he/she is permitted to work. If you have unpaid wages relating to overtime, lunch breaks or even rest periods, you may have a claim against your employer
Rules Set By The Federal Law
Under federal law, there are minimum rules that should be followed by employers when dealing with employees. For instance, no employer is required to provide any break, whether it’s for meal or rest to an employee. The law doesn’t give any employee the right to have meal or rest breaks, although this places an obligation to any employer who chooses to do so. The Federal Labor Standard Act is very strict when it comes to non-exempt employees concerning the hours worked. This includes paying the employee for time worked during lunch break even if the break shouldn’t be paid. This may result in unintended overtime to that worker. That’s the reason why an employer should not do anything to discourage or interfere with the employee’s breaks. This may lead the employee to sue for employment unpaid lunch break. However, every state is free to pass its own laws if they are to protect the employees. Remember that the FLSA will not regulate:
3. Meal and rest periods
4. Termination notice
To file your claim, there is a form that must be complete and filed with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. In this report, you should provide:
- Your information
- Employer’s information
- How many hours you are supposed to work daily
- Your claims. Depending on what you’re claiming, your lawyer may advise you on what may be required to be filled.
What Happens If I Don’t Have All The Information Required?
If you need to file a wage claim and you think you don’t have the vital information, you can consider the below points:
- If you don’t have the contacts of your employer, you can take down the license number of his /her vehicle. But the most important license number to pick would be the company’s car.
- Give the location of your job
- Ensure to be making photocopies or taking pictures of your paycheck before you cash it. Ensure also to indicate the amount of pay and the date paid
- Keep records of hours you have worked. In case your employer forced you to work during your lunch break or your rest breaks, mark the days and the time you worked without having your breaks. In case you have breaks, write down how long they last. Most employees fear to file claims because they think their complaints will be made known to their employers. All discussions are kept confidential. The only exception here would be:
- When it’s there is consent to reveal the identity of the employee who is complaining in order to pursue an allegation.
- Where the court orders the Department of Labor to disclose the information for purposes of protecting the public or for investigation process.
The Time Limit For Filing Your Claim
Generally, most of the wage violations require the employee to file the claim within three years. For instance, if your violations are continuing, this relevant department will use the “look back” rule from the time you filed the claim. If your agreement was in writing, you only have four years to file your claim. Nonetheless, if your employer made an oral agreement, this time may be limited to only two years. Your employer may have failed to pay you overtime, failed to give you the breaks you deserved, or didn’t consider every hour you worked. You have the right to seek compensation. Some of the penalties that may apply for the unpaid wage claims may include:
- Rest and meal break violations
- Paystub violations
- Liquidated damages
It’s better to file a claim as quickly as possible. As such, you will have all the time to gather the relevant documents that may be needed for the court proceedings. You may also have enough time to look for witnesses that will be used by your lawyer to support your claim. If still not sure of what to do, you may consider contacting an experienced employment lawyer who can assist you with the vital information.