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California Wage & Hour Violations Lawyer

wage theft

You work hard to earn a living, and you have the right to be fairly and fully compensated for any work you perform. Federal and California state wage and hour laws prohibit employers from committing wage theft.

It is important to know your rights in the workplace so you can hold your employer accountable if they are not compensating you fairly.

Wage & Hour laws can be complicated and this is where an employment attorney can help. If you have questions or concerns about how you are being compensated, or what steps to take if you know your employer is committing wage theft, reach out to an employment lawyer.

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What Is Wage Theft?

Wage theft is when employers do not pay their employees for the work they have completed.

There are a variety of ways that wage theft can occur in the workplace:

Minimum Wage

Employers are required to pay employees no less than the minimum wage. The California minimum wage is higher than the Federal minimum wage, and changes annually.

Failure to Pay

If your employer fails to pay you the amount you are due for your work, your employer is committing wage theft. Your employer must pay you for all of your work, and must pay you in a timely fashion. Your employer must have regular pay periods and provide complete pay stubs. If you quit or are terminated, your employer must pay you your unpaid wages and unused vacation time no later than 72 hours after your last day of work.

Deducting Money

Employers may not deduct money from your paycheck that they believe they are owed from you. Likewise, employers may not take any employee tips. If your employer is taking any portion of your paycheck or of the tips you have earned, your employer is committing wage theft.


There are two types of employees; exempt employees and non-exempt employees. Exempt employees typically perform work the require special licenses, such as engineers, doctors, lawyers, or work in a management role. Exempt employees are paid an annual salary and are not paid based on the time that they work. Non-exempt employees typically perform non-management work or work that does not require a specific professional degree. Non-exempt employees are paid for their time, and are thus entitled to overtime, and meal and rest breaks.

Time off the Clock

If you are a non-exempt employee you must be paid for every minute you are working. Your employer may not reduce the hours you reported to have worked or ask you to work off the clock. If you have down time during the work day because you have to wait for something to occur, you must be compensated for the entire time that you are waiting.

Failure to Pay Overtime

If you are a non-exempt employee and you work over the standard 8-hours per day and 40-hours per week your employer owes you overtime pay, which is 1.5x your regular rate of pay. order to claim overtime, you must accurately report the hours you are working to your employer.

Meal & Breaks

In California, non-exempt workers are entitled to regular uninterrupted meal and rest breaks. Employees may take a 10-minute break for every 4-hours of work, and a 30-minute break for every 8-hours of work. If you do not receive a break, your employer must pay you a break or meal premium, which is equal to one-hour of your time.

The law protects employees who report wage theft at work. If you make a complaint of wage theft to your employer, resist wage theft in the workplace, or participate as a witness in a wage theft complaint made by a co-worker, your employer may not treat you unfavorably as a result. If your employer has treated you unfairly because you reported or resisting any form of wage theft your employer has retaliated against you and broken the law.

If you are experiencing wage theft, you may be entitled to damages in the form of back pay and punitive damages. Take the following steps to support your case:

Save Evidence: Record all relevant events or interactions in writing. Save related emails, notes, and documents.

Report the Discrimination: Report the discrimination directly to your employer. If your employer does not correct their behavior, you may file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner.

Find an Attorney: Reach out to an employment attorney. Avloni Law is a law firm dedicated to fighting for your right to a workplace. Click here schedule a free consultation with Navruz Avloni.


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If you have been wronged by your employer, you may be scared and unsure of your rights. If you are interested in learning more about your rights, discussing your potential discrimination claims and obtaining legal advice from an employment attorney, please contact the Avloni Law Firm today for an initial consultation.

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