It happens all too often, an employer agrees to a raise but months go by and you see no increase on your paystub. They finally fix the “glitch” in the system but what happens to the months that you were being underpaid? This is considered back pay and the employer still owes you this money. Having a Los Angeles employment law attorney on your case can ensure you are compensated per the fair labor standards act.
The difference between what you were actually paid and what you were intended to be paid by an employer is considered back pay. Back pay can be obtained through Wage and Hour Division enforcement, a private lawsuit or an injunction. The moment an employee is denied back pay he or she will need to contact a Los Angeles employment law attorney and file a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
Unpaid Wage Disputes
An example of an unpaid wage dispute is that of LinkedIn who has agreed to pay 359 employees back pay totaling almost $6 million for denied overtime pay. The denial of overtime pay is a direct violation of the FLSA guidelines. LinkedIn was thoroughly investigated by the Department of Labor who discovered the violations. They agreed to settle and provide back pay to the employees. States also have laws in place for back pay. An example of this is an NFL cheerleader who filed a lawsuit against the Oakland Raiders for violating California minimum wage laws and other employment laws. The claim is that cheerleaders were paid less than $5 an hour and were only paid at the end of a season. The lawsuit is currently ongoing and if successful, the Raiders will have to issue compensation for back pay and damages. This will also set a precedent for other sports teams and associations.
Protections for Unpaid Workers
Being paid on time is essential to afford things like gas, groceries and rent. Sadly, Los Angeles has seen far too many wage disputes. California has strong protections for unpaid workers and encourages employers to pay full wages on time. The first thing that needs to be determined is whether the person is an employee or an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not covered under wage and hour laws but have other legal remedies and protections.
California Labor Laws
Under wage and hour laws in California, an employee must be paid every two weeks unless classified as an executive, administrative or professional employee. There are penalties for employers who pay employee wages late. Overtime pay needs to be paid by the next regular payroll period. During a wage dispute, employers are required to pay undisputed wages normally. Some penalties that employers may face include paying the employee interest on unpaid wages, costs of a lawsuit and attorney fees. In very difficult cases an agent of the company can face six months imprisonment or be fined an additional $1,000 for refusal to pay after a demand. Consult with a Los Angeles employment law attorney if you are owed back pay or unpaid wages.