wage and hour Tag

She could be an employee or independent contractor

19 Nov Employee versus Independent Contractor

Many people are unsure what the different classifications of employee verus independent contractor mean. So what is an employee? What is an independent contractor? What's the difference between the two? And why does it matter? Employee versus independent contractor: what's the difference? People often use worker and employee to mean the same thing. But this isn't actually correct. Some workers are employees, others are independent contractors. So what's the difference? It's actually a fairly complicated legal question. Under both state and federal law, courts look at all kinds of factors to determine whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. For simplicity's sake, someone is generally an employee when their employer exercises a lot of control over their work. For example, someone that goes to their company's place of business everyday, wears their company provided uniform, uses company equipment, and does what the company tells them to do all day is an employee. Employees work directly for the employer and the employer pays them and provides whatever benefits the employee might get. At least until recently, this has been the dominant working arrangement in developed economies. Conversely, an independent contractor is a worker that is not an employee. This traditionally meant someone who contracted to perform a certain task. For example, the plumber you hire to fix your leaky faucet is an independent contractor. You haven't hired her as employee. You've agreed to pay her to perform a specific task in exchange for a set fee. Once she's finished, you pay her and you both go your separate ways. Why the difference matters Employee versus independent contractor is not simply a legal distinction that exists only on paper. Whether someone is an employee or independent contractor has important real world consequences. First, employees are often entitled to certain benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans. Independent contractors are not. Second, many labor and employment regulations apply only to employees. Most state and federal wage and hour laws don't apply to independent contractors. For example, you don't need to pay that plumber you hired minimum wage or overtime. Likewise, the state and federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination and workplace harassment generally do not apply to independent contractors. So if you're classified as independent contractor, you may not be to sue if you're discriminated against. Third, and finally, having employees requires employers to provide things like workers' compensation coverage. Conversely, a company does not need to provide workers' compensation coverage for its independent contractors. Likewise, for things like unemployment insurance and social security. The changing landscape Unsurprisingly, the use of independent contractors is on the rise. Companies see it as a way to cut costs without cutting vital labor. But this also leads to abuse. Companies often hire people as independent contractors even when they should technically be employees under the law. Of course, misclassifying employees as independent contractors is unlawful and companies can be subject to penalties for doing so. But, because most people wont sue, companies usually get away with it. Naturally, the increasing use of independent contractors has caused some push back. California recently passed a law cracking down on the use of independent contractors. Other states are also considering similar laws. These laws target workers in the gig economy, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, but will affect other workers as well. If you believe you are misclassified as independent contractor, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For more follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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Undocumented workers and wages

28 Mar Undocumented Workers and Wages

Regarding undocumented workers and wages, the most important thing is that wage and hour laws apply to undocumented persons. Immigration is a matter of Federal Law and separate from wage and hour laws. But under California State Law, employers cannot withhold compensation solely based on your immigration status. As such, undocumented workers can sue their employers for unpaid wages. A number of factors determine whether you can recover the compensation you've earned. But your immigration status should not be one. There may be some other reason an undocumented worker cannot recover unpaid wages, but immigration status alone shouldn't be a problem. Of course, in practice, other issues arise around undocumented workers and wages. Specifically, undocumented workers often fear interacting with the legal system. This may prevent them from pressing claims for unpaid wages. This is perfectly understandable, but employers often take advantage of this dynamic. Accordingly, undocumented workers are more likely to be the victims of wage theft or unlawful employment practices. While concerns about interaction with the legal system are understandable, undocumented persons should at the very least contact an employment attorney to discuss potential claims. If you believe that your employer has violated California wage and hour laws, contact the Khadder Law Firm Today for a free consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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20 Mar Paying for overtime claims

Many people express concern about paying for overtime claims. Unfortunately, it often doesn’t make economic sense for a lawyer to take on wage and hour claims. Such claims generally smaller and cost more than they are worth. But there is still hope. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can still vindicate your rights, even if your claim is not that big. The first, is that you can go directly to the California Labor Commission to file a wage claim with them. It’s an expedited process so it’s usually faster than going to court. Moreover, it doesn’t cost you anything and you don’t need a lawyer.   Pursuing a class action claim is another option. When there is a class action claim for overtime of minimum wage or other wage and hour issues, then lawyers have much bigger economic incentive to get involved. Consequently, that would be a way to go vindicate your wage and hour rights.   Another possible avenue is if you have additional claims against your employer. For example, you may may have claims for discrimination, harassment or retaliation along with your wage and hour claims. In that case, the lawyer would probably be more likely to get involved because the harassment, retaliation or discrimination claim would make the case more lucrative. Obciously, this provides  an incentive for the lawyer to take on the case. While they’re at it, they’ll just add on the wage and hour violation claims as well.   Finally, the the labor code provides for attorney's fees for some overtime claims. If you prevail on such a claim, the employer will have to pay for your attorney's fees. This incentivizes attorneys to take your case. If you believe you have a wage and hour claims, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For more, follow us Twitter and Instagram....

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unscheduled work days and overtime

20 Mar Unscheduled Work Days and Overtime

People often ask about unscheduled work days and overtime. How do unscheduled work days and overtime work. Does working an unscheduled shift entitle you to overtime pay? The answer depends on your schedule. Unfortunately, the mere fact of working an unscheduled day does not, by itself, entitle you to overtime pay. But, if that unscheduled shift pushes you over a certain threshold, you will be entitled to overtime pay. California law considers any work more than 8 hours in a day to be overtime. So if you work 9 hours in a day, you're entitled to 1 hour of overtime pay. Likewise for more than 40 hours in a week. So if you work 41 hours in a week, you're entitled to 1 hour of overtime pay (more if you worked more than 8 hours on any day). If you have worked 40 hours, Monday through Friday, and then you are required to come in on Saturday, and you are a non-exempt employee, then you're entitled to overtime pay for Saturday. This isn't because you worked a day you weren't scheduled tow work. Instead, it's because you worked over 40 hours in that week. But, if you haven’t worked 40 hours in week, from Monday through Friday, and you have to come in on a Saturday, then as long as it’s under 8 hours or has not exceeded 40 hours in a week, total, then you would just be entitled to your standard pay. If your employer has failed to pay you overtime pay that you've earned, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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Work breaks and meals

17 Mar Work Breaks and Meals

California law provides for work breaks and meals for non-exempt employees. Your employer must provide rest and meal breaks depending on how long you work. The labor code provides for a paid 10 minute break for each 4 hours of work. Additionally, the labor code provides for a 30 minute meal break. This kicks if you're working at least 8 hours. Critically, the meal break doesn't count as a rest break. For example, let's take the typical 8-hour shift. Because you work for 8 hours, the law requires your employer to give you a 30 minute meal break at some point. Additionally, you still get two paid rest breaks of ten minutes each, one for each 4 hours you work. Unfortunately, employers regularly fail to abide by these requirements. This is particularly true in the service industry. For example, during the holiday shopping seasons, retail managers may push employees to work through breaks or meal periods during busy times. If you have questions about work breaks and meals, you should contact an employment attorney. You may have a claim against your employer if it has not provided you with breaks and meal periods as required by law. If your employer has failed to provide you with meal or rest breaks, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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