As a restaurant server in California, you make the state’s minimum wage, unlike servers in other states. You may have heard that the Department of Labor plans to change the rules on tip-pooling. The purpose of this rule change is supposed to even out how front of house and back of house employees are paid. There’s no worry about this in California; however, critics say the rule goes too far, and legalizes what’s currently considered wage theft. There are many ways an employer can commit wage theft. When that happens, you’ll need the help of an expert labor attorney.

Overtime Wage Theft

You can get overtime for additional hours worked over 40 hours in your full-time work week, whether you’re a blue-collar or white-collar worker, and unless you’ve been classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. The questions you’ll want to ask include who is exempt, and who is not. In addition, you’ll want to get a breakdown of overtime rules by occupation. Some occupations have different classifications and exemptions.

Employee Misclassification

If you’re an employee of a company, you have rights that give you protection. As an employee, your payroll taxes are paid by your employer, and unemployment insurance as well. However, independent contractors do not get those rights and protections. Independent contractors are also on the hook for their payroll taxes. If you think this kind of wage theft is occurring, you’ll want to find out about your employee classification. Once you know your classification, ask your labor attorney if you should be classified that way.

Minimum Wage Violations

This one may seem obvious, but if you’re being paid less than the highest minimum wage rate for your area, that’s a case of wage theft. There are federal and state minimum wages, and your city might even have minimum wage laws on the books. You’re entitled to the highest applicable minimum wage.

Off the Clock Wage Theft

Work starts as soon as you go into work. If your employer isn’t paying you the time it takes to get into your protective gear, as well as the time you spend cleaning up after the day, that’s a working off the clock form of wage theft. Don’t let your employer get away with this. If you’re being asked to work off the clock, contact your labor attorney right away.

Illegal Deductions from Pay

If your employer is taking unauthorized or illegal deductions from your paycheck, it’s wage theft, in the most literal sense. You should contact your labor attorney right away to get this resolved.

Not Getting Paid at All

Perhaps the most obvious form of wage theft is when you aren’t even paid. If you aren’t paid you need to immediately contact your labor attorney and start recording everything.

If you fear that you’re suffering wage theft, The Law Offices of Cathe L. Caraway-Howard are here to fight for you. Call (310) 488-9020, email, or Fill out the contact form to get started on the path to justice. Cathe L. Caraway-Howard is always “fighting for the little guy”.

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