Employers frequently complain about employees that steal from them. They complain about money and other things that walk out the door in the hands of problematic employees, and about employees who waste company resources and time. During the pandemic, they have been very vocal about employees they feel are slacking off while working from home.
Little do they realize, the biggest thieves in the work world are employers, not employees. Here in California, and across the country, wage theft is running rampant. Employers are simply not paying their employees what they are required to by law.
At The Rankin Law Firm, we regularly see:
- Off-the-clock wage violations — Hourly employees are often forced to work off-the-clock, skip rest and meal breaks, or work overtime to meet employers’ demands, while not being compensated for all their time.
- Employee misclassifications — Employers often misclassify workers as contractors, non-exempt or exempt employees to avoid overtime requirements; however, employees’ job duties, not their title, determine their classification and whether or not they should be paid overtime.
- Withholding bonuses or commissions — Employers frequently withhold bonuses and commissions, particularly if an employee leaves.
- Illegal tip-sharing schemes — Unlike other states, all restaurant workers in California must be paid the minimum wage and employers cannot take tips earned by servers, although tip-pooling is permitted.
- Illegal wage deductions — Employers may not take unauthorized deductions from employees’ pay (e.g cost of a uniform, accidental breakage, cash, and/or property shortages).
The pandemic has magnified this problem for people working from home. During the pandemic, people are juggling work, child care, and other responsibilities. Instead of having a solid block of time “on the clock” workers are squeezing things in as best they can.
Employers and employees need to realize that taking phone calls, jumping on a zoom meeting, or responding to emails are all on the clock activities. Doing this sort of stuff at odd hours may be necessary, but only if the employee is getting paid for it.
If an employee is not precisely tracking their working hours, they may not be paid for all of the work they are doing, or be properly compensated for overtime.
The Road To Your Employment Rights Starts Here
Although the pandemic is changing the work world in many ways, wage and hour laws still apply. When more people than ever are working from home, and the boundaries between work life and home life are eroding, it is critical that employees stand up for themselves and make sure they are being paid every dollar they deserve.
If you think your employer is not paying you properly, or you simply have questions about California wage and hour laws, the Rankin Law Firm is here for you. We advocate for employees across the state and bring bad employers to justice. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.