San Fernando Valley Los Angeles Attorneys
Navigation Two
Phone Number

Entries in overtime wages (7)

Tuesday
Feb192013

California Wage & Hour Violations – Residential Care Facilities Investigated

 

by Sue M. Bendavid
February 19, 2013

Employer Lawyer Los Angeles Google+

 

Three California district offices of the United States Department of Labor are investigating employers of residential care facilities. Initial results from the investigations indicate approximately 200 employees may be due more than $800K from residential care employers.

The investigations began in Sacramento in October, but expanded to include facilities in San Francisco and West Covina.

The Department of Labor says there are significant concerns, including:

  • Failure to count all hours of work time
  • Interrupted personal time
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Interrupted meals
  • Failure to compensate for training
  • Failure to pay for pre and post shift duties, and
  • Failure to pay overtime wages

 

How Should Employers Avoid Wage and Hour Claims?

 

The state minimum wage in California and Los Angeles remains $8/hour, though certain cities within the state mandate higher rates. Under federal law (the FLSA) nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week must receive overtime pay. The state has daily overtime rules (for employees who work more than 8 hours in a day).

When training or seminars occur outside of an employee's regularly scheduled time, you'll need to compensate for attendance at those sessions with limited exception.

Under California law, you need to provide 30 minute duty-free, uninterrupted meal breaks, and cannot ask employees to perform duties during these breaks. In the case of a resident care facility where the residents often interrupt your employee with requests for assistance, you'll need to pay the employee for the time worked and also consider whether a meal period penalty is required.

Some employees work overtime by necessity, even though the time is not authorized by you the employer. You'll need to compensate for this time, known as work suffered or permitted. This overtime work usually occurs when a facility is short-staffed, or when employees choose to take work home rather than stay on the premises after their regular work schedule.

California's Industrial Welfare Commission instituted a series of Wage Orders to protect employees in 17 industry groups. As an employer, it's important for you to know which wage order governs your business. Residential care workers are generally covered under Wage Order #5, but if you have questions about California employment law or the wage orders that affect your employees, feel free to contact me.

 

Sue M. Bendavid is the Chair of our Employment Practice Group, who exclusively represents employers. She can be reached via email: sbendavid@lewitthackman.com.

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Thursday
Jun302011

California Employment Law Tips: Prepping for a Labor Audit

Lawyer for EmployersEmployment Defense Attorney Los Angeles

 

 

 

by Sue M. Bendavid
818.907.3220

Employer Lawyer Los Angeles Google+

 

 

When it comes to California employment law, I always tell my clients: The best employer defense is prevention.

That means that as an employer, you should be prepared for everything – including a potential visit from the U.S. Department of Labor, or the California Labor Commissioner. (Read my previous blog, California Labor Laws – Ready for a Labor Commissioner Visit? for more information regarding what usually happens when you do get such a visit.)

But if, as a California employer, you want to stay one step ahead of the Commissioner and potential employee claims, there are some things you can do to prevent penalties or litigation.

Best Employer Defense –10 Tips from a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer

 

Prevention begins with good employee policies. Though a wage and hour audit can cover a whole host of topics, the typical situation focuses on overtime, exempt/non-exempt, meal and rest period rules and accurate recordkeeping and documents. See if you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, to see if you will pass a wage and hour audit:

1. Overtime
Are you paying the correct overtime premiums for hours worked by non exempt employees in excess of eight in the day, and 40 in the workweek?

2. Exempt & Non-Exempt Employees
Have you correctly characterized employees as “exempt” (not entitled to overtime pay) rather than “non-exempt” (entitled to overtime)?

3. Independent Contractors
Have you correctly identified which workers are company employees and which are independent contractors?

4. Meal Periods
Do your employees clock in and out and take a minimum of 30 minutes of duty-free meal periods after no more than five hours of work?

5. Rest Periods
Do you provide your employees with a 10 minute rest break in the middle of each four hour work period?

6. Off the Clock Work
Do you prohibit your employees from working “off the clock”?

7. Correct Wage Statements
Do you provide itemized wage statements with all required data, and do they correctly reflect pay rates and hours worked?

8. Rounding Policies
If you round off an employee’s time worked, do you comply with the law and pay the employee accurately?

9. Time Clock Corrections
When you make changes to time records, do you ask employees to verify the information is accurate and to initial the corrections?

10. Child Labor
Do you have the appropriate permits needed to employ minor workers?

If you answered “no” to any of the above California employment law questions, you should re-evaluate your company’s wage and hour policies and procedures. Correcting mistakes now will save you stress and expense in the long run. In fact, you can be held liable for violations going back for several years – it’s best to make sure you have everything in order now.

As a Los Angeles employment lawyer, I know most employers get into trouble because they simply make administrative mistakes, or don’t have good wage and hour employee policies and practices in effect. As I said, the best employer defense is not offense, but prevention.

Employment Defense Attorney Sue M. Bendavid is Chair of the California Employment Law Practice Group, who provides counsel and litigation services for business owners and supervisors throughout the state. Contact her via e-mail: sbendavid@lewitthackman.com

 

 
Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 

 

Page 1 2
LEWITT HACKMAN | 16633 Ventura Boulevard, Eleventh Floor, Encino, California 91436-1865 | 818.990.2120