Workplace Legal has extensive knowledge of California’s wage and hour laws — from the various occupational and industry Wage Orders to the state Labor Code to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). We regularly counsel clients about wage and hour issues, performing wage and hour audits and compliance reviews, and prosecute and defend wage and hour litigation before courts and government agencies, including the California Labor Commissioner’s offices.
Wage and hour compliance is critical for California employers because the rules are complicated and the penalties for non-compliance are severe. That’s why Workplace Legal partners with clients to address potential wage and hour issues in advance — before a lawsuit is filed by an employee or an audit is commenced by a government agency.
Workplace Legal assists clients by reviewing HR policies and practices, flagging areas of non-compliance, and making go-forward recommendations for new policies and practices that are not only compliant but also fit the client’s real-world business and operational needs. Some of the wage and hour issues we focus on include:
- Whether a particular worker can properly qualify as an “independent contractor”;
- Whether a particular employee can be properly classified as “exempt” from overtime;
- Ensuring compliance with California’s unique meal and rest break policies and obscure rules about employee seating, workplace temperature, alternative workweek voting schemes;
- Ensuring that employees receive proper compensation, including analyzing timekeeping, “off the clock” work, employer rounding policies, scheduling and reporting time, paid time off, paid sick leave, and expense reimbursement policies and issues;
- Drafting bonus plans and agreements, analyzing bonus eligibility both during employment and after termination, and ensuring payment of all bonuses actually “earned”;
- Properly calculating overtime, including calculating all hours “worked,” determining the proper regular and overtime “rate of pay,” and determining the proper “workweek” to which reported time should be credited;
- Ensuring compliance with unique local/municipal laws regarding minimum wages, paid family leave, healthcare, and other employee benefits;
- Reviewing pay stubs for compliance with California’s unique law that mandates potentially 16 different pieces of information that must exist on all employee pay stubs;
- Maintaining proper employee personnel, payroll, and leave of absence files and records;
- Avoiding “waiting time penalties” owed to terminated employees; and
- Identifying and distributing/posting all applicable Wage Orders and other mandatory workplace notices, posters, pamphlets, and other publications.