Remedies

05 Apr What if my employer doesn’t know that I’m working overtime?

What if my employer gives me more work than I can accomplish in 40 hours and I have to work nights and weekends to get it done? An employer has a right to prohibit you from working overtime. But, if you work that time, and they haven’t strictly forbidden you from working the overtime hours, then technically, you should still be entitled to overtime pay. If they tell you, “Do not work more than 40 hours,” and you go ahead and do so anyway, then that’s a different story, and you may not be able to recover overtime pay. But, if they give you the work, and they don’t tell you not to spend as much time on it as you need to, then you are entitled to overtime pay. Each case is different, and if the court was looking at it, they might adjust how much overtime pay you are entitled to, depending on the specific circumstances of how you went about working those overtime hours and whether your employer knew about it. If you believe that your employer has failed to pay you overtime that you have earned, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

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02 Apr Proving overtime claims when there has been inadequate record-keeping

California law requires employers to keep and maintain records on the hours that their non-exempt employees work. If they fail to do so, they can be liable for penalties under the California labor code. In addition, if the employer is being sued for failure to pay overtime, for instance, and they don’t have records, then the court will allow the employee who is suing to estimate the amount of overtime they have worked and take that into consideration in determining how much the employee is entitled to recover. If you believe that your employer has failed to pay you overtime that you have earned, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

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24 Mar Will the court will award attorney’s fees in an unpaid overtime case if an employer is in clear violation?

It is complicated because many violations have their own rules about being able to get attorney fees. Let’s take overtime, for instance: A benefit of California law and overtime claims is that it has a one-way fee shifting provision. If you’re an employee who is not getting paid overtime and you sue and win, you may be able to get attorney fees against your employer. If you lose and don’t get anything, your employer cannot go after you for attorney fees. The idea behind the one-way fee shifting provision is that there is a public policy in place that employees should get paid for the work that they have performed, and they should get paid the amount that the law requires workers to be paid for the work that they’ve performed. If the employer could go after them for attorney fees, then employees would be scared to hold their employers accountable. There is also something called the Private Attorney General Act or PAGA. PAGA basically deputizes citizens to recover penalties on behalf of the state of California. If you win, you can keep 75% of the penalties, and you pay the state 25% of the penalties that you recover. It covers may types of claim under the labor code including overtime and minimum wage. In any type of claim that may not provide for attorney’s fees on its’ own, the Private Attorney General Act would step in and entitle you to attorney fees. If you believe that your employer has violated the California Labor Code, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

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28 Feb Employment Disputes and Enforcement of a Mandatory Arbitration Clause

There are some exceptions to what can be forced into arbitration. One exception for now is representative actions under the Private Attorney’s General Act or PAGA. PAGA is a California law that basically deputizes individuals to seek penalties against employers that violate the California labor code. There are a few other minor exceptions, all within the State context. It is a little more complicated in the Federal context due to certain executive actions by the President. But, in the context of the state of California, it depends on what the arbitration agreement says. Most arbitration agreements are so broad that they include almost any kind of claim that can be forced into arbitration, and it doesn’t matter how egregious the conduct of the employer is; if there is an agreement between the employer and employee to arbitrate that type of claim, and there almost always is, then it can still be forced into arbitration. In that scenario, there is no way to get out of the arbitration agreement unless there is actually something unconscionable with the arbitration agreement itself. In terms of the types of claims or how egregious the claims are, it doesn’t really have an impact upon whether or not an employee will be forced to enter arbitration. If you are presented with an arbitration agreement by your employer, or if you have already signed an arbitration agreement and have a legal claim against your employer, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

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24 Feb Mandatory Arbitration Clauses and Employment Disputes

Mandatory arbitration clauses, especially since 2011, have become more and more common in the employment context. I’ve talked about this in some of my other blog posts about how much I disdain mandatory arbitration clauses and unfortunately, there are many problems with mandatory arbitration, especially in the employment context. The biggest issue among many is that employers with arbitration clauses will probably have to participate in multiple arbitrations, and the arbitrators are essentially private judges. There is the potential for the arbitrators to rule in favor of the employer in order to get repeat business (called “the repeat player effect”). Individual employees typically don’t have to go to arbitration more than once in their lifetime, if ever, so there is no potential incentive for an arbitrator to rule in an employee’s favor. Another problem with mandatory arbitration, is that it could, but not necessarily will, have an effect on the value of the case. If an employee is presented with an arbitration agreement, they should think long and hard, and even think about talking to a lawyer before signing it. Not all employers, however, will give you the option of signing it or not signing it. Some do, but a lot of them don’t. Everyone should keep in mind that if they sign an arbitration agreement, they are most likely going to be forced to go to arbitration as opposed to having their day in court in front of a jury. That can affect the value of their case. If you don’t have a choice in the matter, you can either agree to the arbitration agreements, or you will have to find another job. That is not an easy decision for most people to make, but, unfortunately, it is becoming more and more commonplace. One mitigating factor about arbitration in the employment context is that if the employer requires the employee to go to arbitration, the employer has to pay for the arbitrator fees. The employee only has to pay for what they would normally pay if they were in a regular court of law. Frankly, the arbitrator fees can cost far more than any cost associated with filing a case in a court of law. So, sometimes employers will decide that they don’t want to enforce the arbitration agreement because it would cost a lot of money. That’s one advantage that an employee who is forced to sign an arbitration agreement may have in their back pocket. Arbitration agreements have to follow certain procedural and substantive requirements. If the agreements are procedurally or substantively unconscionable to a certain extent, then a court may decide that the arbitration agreement is not enforceable. If an employee has a legal claim against their employer, and there is an arbitration agreement, it would be very important to speak with an employment attorney to evaluate whether the arbitration agreement could be found unenforceable in court so that the employee can have the chance to bring their claims to a jury of their peers as opposed to a private judge. If you are presented with an arbitration agreement by your employer, or if you have already signed an arbitration agreement and have a legal claim against your employer, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

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