As the economy continues to improve, many workers may still be left behind because their employers do not follow California’s wage and hour laws. A recent report about a Glendale-based construction company allegedly misclassifying its employees is an example of this problem.
The company now faces a lawsuit brought by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. It accuses the company of failing to allocate pay for sick leave, not honoring overtime rates for additional hours of work, and failing to provide proper wage statements.
According to a prnewswire.com report, the Commissioner launched an investigation finding that the company’s employees worked an average of 10-12 hours per day during the work week but were not paid for the overtime hours required after working more than eight hours during a work day.
The investigation also found that workers were forced to sign contracts stating that they were independent contractors under the threat of termination, thus enabling the company to avoid paying proper wages, making required withholdings and additional taxes.
Because of this, the Commissioner seeks over $2 million in damages owed to workers stemming from past overtime, unpaid sick leave and waiting penalties, as well as $3.7 million payable to the state due to willful misclassification, improper wage statements and civil penalties.
While this is an example of a state agency taking action against a non-compliant employer, private suits may also be brought by employees who believe they have been taken advantage of. If you have questions about your rights and options, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you.