There is no doubt that work gets hectic for most people every once in a while. However, if you rarely have the chance to eat a sandwich or you’re constantly working 50-hour weeks, it’s time to speak up. Your strong work ethic makes you an asset to your employer, but it’s important to realize when you are being taken advantage of. Here are some things you need to look out for.
Working Overtime Without Compensation
If you are working over 40 hours in a week or 8 hours per day, the law says that you must be paid time and a half for those extra hours. If you work more than 12 hours in a day, you get double time. So, staying at work for long hours is fine, but you need to be paid extra for doing so.
This isn’t true for everyone, as salaried employees, volunteers, and contract workers are among those who are typically not entitled to overtime (because the law deems them exempt from overtime pay) but that is not always the case. For example, many workers in high-tech positions and managers are salaried but, after an analysis of their day to day job duties, it is often discovered that they have been “misclassified” as exempt from overtime pay. A careful analysis of an employee’s job duties and work environment are necessary to determine whether or not they are owed overtime pay.
Lunch is a Right, not a Luxury
Not only is skipping lunch bad for your health, doing so (without extra pay)is illegal if you work more than five hours per day. Under California Law, if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks: a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday, a second 30-minute meal break if you work over 10 hours, and 10 minute rest breaks for every 4 hours you work or “major fraction” of four hours. If your employer doesn’t provide you with any of these breaks, they, are required to pay you extra for those missed breaks.
Your Employer Expects You to be On-Call
You might not be working in a traditional sense, but when an employer expects you to be on-call, you could be entitled to a bump in pay. For example, if you travel for work or must always have your phone on and are ready to receive a call, you may be entitled to pay for that time.
Your Employer Doesn’t Let You Clock-In
If you are required to come to work at a certain time, but not allowed to clock-in until you are needed or until your scheduled start time, your employer could be violating your rights if they are not paying you for this “off the clock”/waiting time. For example, if you have to show up early to work to go through a security screening or to put on a uniform before you clock-in, you should be getting paid for that time.
If you feel that your employer is taking advantage of you, underpaying you, or otherwise violating your rights, your intuition is probably correct. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about your rights and what you are entitled to.
The Carter Law Firm is a top employment attorney office, specializing in employment laws and labor violations in California. Please use the contact form below if you have any employment issues, and we will reach out to you.