Think You Deserve Overtime but Aren’t Getting It?

by Norman B. Blumenthal on November 28, 2013

Last month was the end of a long and painful class action lawsuit for smart phone runner-up Verizon with a $7.7 million settlement. The company was accused of failing to pay overtime and bonuses, in violation of California state wage laws and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

employment attorney Los Angeles CaliforniaAll too often we hear of similarly situated Retail Employees across California who, for example, work 10 hour days at a single wage or reach bonus benchmarks but fail to see said bonus. Sometimes we hear of employees who never thought to complain about a lack of overtime because their employment contract says the company does not need to pay. Fortunately for these employees, there are federal and state laws in place which make these types of contracts illegal. California state wage law says all nonexempt employees must receive overtime for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours in one workday and 40 hours in one workweek.

So what is a “nonexempt” employee? It is a California employee that is categorized so as not to be exempt from overtime. Although the categorization can be confusing, it is important to know that job title is irrelevant. The California Labor Commissioner determines which positions are exempt - read about it in more detail by clicking here.

The employer should specify bonuses and commissions before work is performed. Once in writing and signed by both parties, the employee should obtain copies of all agreements and make sure promises are fulfilled.

These failures to properly compensate employees are similar to what allegedly occurred in the Verizon retail stores. Two Illinois employees originally filed separate complaints in 2011 after their overtime and incentive pay was supposedly adjusted for illegally. Verizon was accused on constructing said adjustments to avoid overtime pay.

After fighting separately for a year, the two employees combined their class action lawsuits and eventually agreed on a settlement. The $7.7 million will be placed into a fund where class members will be paid on a claims-made basis, and the two employees who originally filed the claims will each receive $12,500.

If your rights are being violated in a similar manner and you are an employee in the state of California, contact the labor law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today for a free consultation. We will help you stand up against the man.

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