Types of Wage & Hour Clients
Restaurant and Hotel Employees
In the restaurant industry, clients include kitchen staff, wait staff, bus boys and dishwashers. Typical clients in the hotel industry include housekeeping, kitchen and banquet staff, security, clerical, room service, and other hourly employees. Some typical wage and hour violations affecting employees in this industry include:
- Not allowing employees to receive minimum 30-minute meal periods within the first five hours of work. These employees must be free to leave the premises, relieved of all duties and not required to work in any way.
- Employers must clearly communicate that employees are authorized and permitted to take paid ten minute rest periods for every four hours or major fraction thereof worked. (Employees are entitled to one hour's pay for every day they have not received a proper meal or rest period)
- Forcing employees to work over eight hours per day or forty hours per week.
- Forcing employees to perform any tasks before clocking in or clocking out (including getting in or out of uniform, running errands, etc.)
- Forcing employees to report to work for less than half their regular shift. These employees may not be sent home without being paid for at least a half day's shift of not less than two nor more than four hours.
Workers in the computer and high tech industry are often misclassified by employers as exempt from overtime. These employees are often called upon to work over eight hours per day, forty hours per week, and seven consecutive workdays without being compensated for their overtime. Click here for more information on how the Carter Law Firm can assist computer professionals.
Home Loan and Bank Employees
All employees are entitled to be reimbursed for expenses, such as automotive and cell phone costs, incurred in performing their job duties. Commissioned bank home loan sales employees and others in both retail and wholesale groups are often not permitted to submit expenses for reimbursement. Generally, in California, employees must be reimbursed for all expenses incurred in connection with their work. This cannot be altered by contract - that is, the employer cannot require employees to agree to pay for expenses incurred in discharging job duties. In addition, employees are entitled to recover un-reimbursed expenses dating back up to four years, with interest.
Telecommunications Sales/Administrative Employees
Wireless telephone equipment sales employees have been the target of improper "charge backs" of commissions when subscribers cancel. In some cases, this is a violation of labor law proscriptions against deducting an employees' earned wages. In addition, these employees are often incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime under the administrative exemption and are owed substantial wages for unpaid overtime wages.
Retail and Other Hourly Employees
Hourly employees in the retail, service, and many other industries are entitled to minimum statutory protections governing minimum wages, overtime, minimum reporting pay, split-shift premiums, rest and meal periods, waiting time penalties for wages due at the end of employment, and other protections.
Employees are entitled to overtime, regardless of whether they work for hourly wages, commissions, or on a "piece-rate" basis. Piece-rate employees are paid a specified amount for each task performed. For example, installers of high-speed modems, cable television, or other technical equipment are piece-rate workers.
Commission Sales Employees
Under California law, inside sales employees who earn commissions are entitled to premium overtime pay unless they are paid at least one and one-half times minimum wage and earn more than 50% of their income from bona fide commissions. Regardless of their entitlement to overtime, commissioned inside sales employees are entitled to rest and meal periods and back pay compensation of one hour's pay at their regular rate for all days on which they were not provided one or more rest or meal periods.
If you work in one of these fields and have not been paid overtime despite working more than the maximum number of hours allowed, you may be able to recover back wages plus other costs and penalties. Contact the Carter Law Firm for a free consultation.