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San Diego Employment Law Blog

What happens when an employer refuses to pay for overtime?

One of life's many joys involves pride over hard work done. Many Californians could agree with this sentiment, but by the same token, there are few better feelings than hanging one's hat for the day. With the gradual decrease of unemployment rates in the country, the outlook on jobs for the average worker seems optimistic. However, there is a recurring problem in today's working world: that of unpaid overtime.

Most jobs equip new employees with company guidelines, including information regarding wages. As ABC10 News shared last December, one Sacramento Amazon worker filed a lawsuit after he was denied overtime pay. To make matters worse, the company also denied the man a third rest break after he worked regular 10-hour shifts. According to the report, workers at this Amazon location did not receive compensation for the time it took to travel to and from clock-in sites and work space locations -- such claims were another part of the recent lawsuit. As for overtime pay, the law requires that an employee receive time-and-a-half overtime pay after working eight hours. The man accused Amazon of refusing the third break that should have met the overtime wage rate. 

3 ways to prove you worked overtime

Does your employer fail to log your hours? If your workplace does not have a time sheet or time clock, you may not be receiving proper overtime pay. First of all, it is important to note that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to keep records regarding your hourly pay rate, earnings, overtime pay and total wages for each pay period. 

Unfortunately, some employers do not comply with this rule. In this case, what should you do? Without proper documentation, how do you fight for overtime reimbursement? Here are some steps you should take if your employer does not track your time. 

Employers can’t threaten to fire if you refuse unfair wage

Imagine this scenario: your boss tells you and your co-workers that, due to rising expenses, everyone must take a pay cut. However, this would put your earnings under California’s minimum wage. You speak up and tell your boss that the company cannot decrease your wage, but your boss tells you that you have to agree to the change – or you’re fired.

You do not have to accept this ultimatum. In fact, what the boss in this example did is illegal. Not only did the employer refuse to pay a fair wage by law, but they would commit wrongful termination if they fired an employee for calling them out.

Is your employer illegally retaliating against you?

California law protects employees against harassment, discrimination and unlawful retaliation. While employers otherwise have a lot of freedom in employment decisions, these three types of actions form the exception.

The area of illegal actions by employers can get quite complicated. If you feel your employer may be crossing the line into unlawful behavior, speaking with a knowledgeable attorney can give you more information about legal recourse that may be available to you.

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Sullivan Law Group APC
2330 3rd Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-880-3956
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