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Can Your Employer Require That You Stay On Premises During Your Meal Period?

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Yes. Your employment can require that you remain on the job premises during your meal period. This is true even if you are relieved of all work duties. However, if this does occur, you are under the employer’s control and you are denied your own time and thus you are entitled to pay during your meal period.

There are exceptions to this rule as it relates to healthcare workers. Healthcare workers may be required to remain on the job without getting paid for that meal period. Healthcare workers are employees in the healthcare industry providing patient care or working in a clinical department, including pharmacists, or member of a patient care delivery team, or licensed veterinarians.

Also, if you are required to eat at the premises, a suitable place for eating must be designated. “Suitable” means a designated place with facilities for consuming food and drinks.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived or your lunch period? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

All You Need to Know About Vacation Time

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In California, there is no legal requirement that an employer must provide its employees with paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if an employer does have an established agreement or policy to provide paid vacation, then there are certain restrictions on the employer on how to provide vacation pay.

Earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned as labor is performed. For example, if an employee is entitled to 2 weeks of vacation per year, after 6 months of work he or she will have earned 1 week of vacation. Vacation pay adds up as it is earned and cannot be forfeited regardless of the reason for the termination. Unless otherwise agreed by a collective bargaining agreement, upon termination of employment, all earned and unused vacation must be paid to the employee.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your vacation time? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

How Long of A Meal Period Are You Entitled To?

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According to California law, an employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of no less than 30 minutes. However, if the total work period day of the employee is no more than 6 hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employee and the employer.

A second meal period of not less than 30 minutes is required if an employee works more than 10 hours per day. However, if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employee and the employer only if the first meal period was not waived.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your meal period? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

All You Need to Know About Rest Periods

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California law requires that employers allow employees to take a 10-minute paid rest period for every 4 hours worked. The rest period should be given in the middle of the work period as is practicable. If the circumstances of the work prevent the employer from giving the break at the preferred time, the employee must still receive the required break, but may take it another point in the work period.

It is not permissible to choose to work through both of your rest periods so that you can leave your job 20 minutes early or arrive late.

If an employer does not authorize or permit a rest period, the employer must pay the employee one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the rest period is not provided.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your rest periods? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

All You Need to Know About Tips & Gratuities

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“Gratuity” is defined as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food drinks, articles sold or served to patrons.

California Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers from keeping any portion of a gratuity left for or give to employees by a patron. Further, it is illegal for employers to deduct gratuities from wages or use gratuities as direct or indirect credit against an employee’s wages. The law expressly states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee.

Payment of a gratuity made by a patron using a credit card must be paid to the employee not later than the next regular payday following the date the patron authorized the credit card payment.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your earned gratuity? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

What Is Age Discrimination?

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The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA protection applies to employers with 20 or more employees and applies to both employees and job applicants. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Harassment of employees on the basis of age is also unlawful discrimination. Harassment can include offensive remarks about a person’s age. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as the victim being fired or demoted.

The harasser can be the employee’s supervisor, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on your age? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

3 Common Overtime Mistakes

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates the payment of overtime. Here are three common overtime mistakes:

Mistake #1: Misclassifying employees – some employers classify workers as independent contractors to escape liability for overtime wages. Courts look at whether an individual is “economically dependent on the business to which he renders service or is, as a matter of economic fact, in business for himself,” and they use a variety of factors to determine whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor.

Mistake #2: Exemption confusion – Paying an employee a salary does not necessarily make him exempt from overtime wages. Most employees who are exempt from overtime fall under the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions (also known as the white- collar exemptions), which require payment on a salary basis. However, for the white-collar exemption to apply, an employee must meet the duties test and be paid a minimum salary of $455 per week.

Mistake #3: Calculating the regular rate – employers should make sure to properly calculate employees’ regular rate of pay. Overtime is calculated at 1.5 times an employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Further, double overtime is calculated as 2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of 8 on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. However, an employee’s regular rate is not necessarily the same as the hourly rate. If an employee’s only compensation is his hourly rate, the regular rate is the same as his hourly rate, and the overtime rate is 1.5 or 2 times that amount. If you provide any compensation over and above straight hourly wages, make sure you calculate any bonuses or compensations which must be included in the calculation of the regular rate.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Do you have any questions about your overtime wages? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Wage Violation Red Flags

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Last year was a record year for wage violations as there were 8,000 lawsuits regarding timekeeping, overtime, and meal breaks.

Some notable red flags to be aware of include:
• Same in/out times for almost every day.
• Same out/in time for meal periods every day. These are clear signs that there could noncompliance with meal periods.
• No out/in times for meal periods.
• Time punches are always at the exact time that the shift begins.
• Time punches for all or most employees are almost the same exact time. An example of this is when one employee is punching in all employees.
• Automatic meal period deductions. Many companies settle this type of litigation because it is hard for employers to prove that employees ate lunch.
• Clocking in early or late. Be sure that rules treat employees equitably.
• Rounding. Make sure you are not always rounding down.
• An employee is paid for fewer hours than shown on his or her time records.
• The overtime pay rate is 1.5 times the employee’s hourly rate, but the pay stub shows the employee was paid a shift differential or bonus.

It is important to be mindful of these employment practices to prevent costly noncompliance lawsuits.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Questions about your rights at the workplace? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Governor Brown Signs New Employment Bills into Law

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California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law two bills that affect California employers.

A.B. 2751 strengthens an old law, which made it unlawful for an employer to engage in an “unfair immigration-related practice” or otherwise retaliate against a person for engaging in protected conduct (please see our last post in what constitutes “protected conduct”), including making a written or oral complaint about unpaid wages.

The new law clarifies that the civil penalties are payable to the employees who suffered the violation, and that employer cannot retaliate against employee for updating his/her personal information based on a lawful change of name, Social Security number, or federal employment authorization document. The new law also expands the definition of “unfair immigration-related practice” to include an employer’s threat to file a complain with the government against an employee who attempts to exercise a right protected under employment laws.

Also, another new law clarifies that rest or recovery periods to prevent heat illness count as compensable hours worked.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Questions about your rights at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

All You Need to Know About Retaliation

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An employer may not fire, demote, harass or  “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination.

Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity.

Protected activity includes opposition to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination. Opposition is informing an employer that you believe that he/she is engaging in prohibited discrimination.

Examples of protected opposition include complaining to anyone about alleged discrimination against oneself or others, threatening to file a charge of discrimination, picketing in opposition to discrimination, or refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be discriminatory.

Examples of activities that are NOT protected opposition include actions that interfere with job performance so as to render the employee ineffective, or unlawful activities such as acts or threats of violence.

Protected activity also includes participation in an employment discrimination proceeding. Examples of participation include filing a charge of employment discrimination, cooperating with an internal investigation of alleged discriminatory practices, or serving as a witness in an investigation or litigation.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been retaliated against at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.