Employees have certain rights against their employers under federal and state labor laws.
When an employer violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees can file employment class action lawsuits together, known as a “collective action.”
A lawsuit against employers for failure to comply with state labor laws is a traditional wage and hour class action lawsuit.
If you are considering filing a class-action lawsuit against an employer, here is some information you should know.
What Is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes certain minimum rights for employees. It sets basic standards for minimum wage, overtime, and child labor laws.
States can enact similar laws, but they must give workers at least the minimum standard in the FLSA.
The federal minimum wage as of January 2022 is $15.00 per hour for federal contractors. For non-federal workers, the 2022 minimum wage is $7.25.
The California minimum wage is $14.00 an hour for smaller employers and $15.00 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees.
Overtime pay is required when employees work over 40 hours in a workweek. Employers must pay them one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay.
In California, employees receive one-and-one-half times their regular pay after eight hours of work in a given day or 40 hours in a workweek.
What Is an FLSA Violation?
The Department of Labor enforces the FLSA in their Wage and Hour Division. Investigators gather data on the employers to determine if they violated the Act.
They may then suggest changes to the employers’ employment practices. Employers may not discriminate against employees for participating in any FLSA proceeding.
Exempt workers do not receive FLSA overtime and minimum wage provisions. Exempt workers might include white-collar workers, commissioned employees, or independent contractors.
Employees classified as independent contractors also do not receive FLSA benefits.
But sometimes, employers attempt to avoid paying overtime or the minimum wage by misclassifying employees.
Thus, misclassified workers are often owed overtime and minimum wages.
Off-the-Clock Work and On-the-Clock Breaks
There is sometimes a debate about what activities the employer must pay for when employees work before or after their shift.
Employers must also pay for breaks and lunches under a certain amount of time.
Employers must keep records of employee time and pay.
Illegal Tipping Practices
Employers cannot keep tips their employees earn. There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as in the case of “tip credits.”
Why Should I File a Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit alone might not make sense for individual employees. Generally speaking, individual claims are likely too small to justify initiating litigation.
However, workers can band together and share litigation costs, increasing the total case value.
Class actions also make sense because there are probably more employees dealing with similar problems, especially at larger businesses.
Employees generally have three years from the date of the last violation to file a wage and hour lawsuit.
You should consult a labor law attorney for guidance on whether to file an FLSA claim or class action lawsuit.
How Do Wage and Hour Lawsuit Settlements Work?
The compensation you can receive for labor law violations depends on the facts of the situation and what law your employer breached.
For example, the most common violation of the labor laws is employer failure to pay. Employees can recover their back pay for unpaid minimum wages and overtime.
They can recover liquidated damages for the same amount as their unpaid back pay, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Meanwhile, for unpaid meal and rest break penalties, employers must pay the value of one hour of work per day for each missed meal.
Contact Farzam Law Firm for Help with Your Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit
California labor laws are very friendly to employees; however, the federal and state legal systems can be confusing to navigate.
At Farzam Law Firm, we can help you determine if you have cause to file a wage theft lawsuit and whether there are similarly situated employees to justify a class action.
We are experienced employment law litigators who can provide valuable legal insight and resources to strengthen your case.
We have helped numerous clients in California with their employment law matters. We offer all of our clients compassionate and reliable legal services.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.