employment law, Legal

An Employee Just Threatened To Sue Me For A Missed Lunch! Legal Reasons #44

As Employers in California know, we are in a state with a tons of protections for employees especially in the area of wage and hour, meal and rest breaks. I often get calls from harried employers who, it seems, regularly get threatened with lawsuits by disgruntled employees. The reality is that while it is the attempt of most employers to ensure their employees get proper rest and meal breaks, call outs, scheduling conflicts and customer flow can interrupt those breaks.

Sometimes, it is also due to an untrained supervisor improperly scheduling meals and rest periods.  While it is understandable that some employees may feel that they can sue (my law professor  said, you can always sue, but will you recover, is the real question), they may be unaware that if they are receiving a one hour penalty for miss meals and breaks, their claim is significantly reduced or eliminated.

Moreover, an employer may consider offering a wage settlement if there are consecutive missed time periods. My point is that do not assume the worst if an employee threatens a lawsuit, always consult with counsel to ascertain if there is a legitimate claim or not.


Do You Know What You Are Worth? Legal Reasons#35

shutterstock_570748177The reality is that many employees do not review their pay stubs because of a common fallacy: trust. This is not to say employers are out to betray you, but businesses are biased towards decreasing costs, especially labor as that tends to be the largest expense.  Many employers also are not aware about premium overtime, rest break violation penalties, failure to give lunch break prior to the 5th hour and a host of other regulations. Thus, it is important for employees to periodically review their pay stubs. Also, review your job descriptions to see if you have been properly classified.

Are you being paid the same amount every paycheck (which should arrive on the 10th and the 26th as mandated by California law) even though you are an hourly employee?   Did you take your lunch, one minute later than 5 hours on a 8 hour shift? You are entitled to a one hour wage penalty?  Were you terminated over the phone and informed that the final check would be given on the next pay dates?  California requires that a final check, including reporting time pay (if you were on the schedule) be given to you at the time of termination.  It is prudent to check your pay stubs as well as know what your overtime rates should be. You never know when that information could come in handy.