Illegal Wage Practices in California
Are you being denied commissions you feel you have earned? Are you being forced to split your tips with your manager or supervisor? Do you feel you are being subjected to improper deductions or are not being paid at least minimum wage for a job based on overall volume output?
At The Armstrong Law Firm, our lawyers offer a combination of skill, knowledge and dedication when it comes to protecting workers and ensuring they receive fair wages. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and for vigorous representation to ensure you are paid fairly.
Our attorneys can help you file a class action lawsuit if your employer engages in any of the following wage practices:
Illegal Wage Deductions and Unreimbursed Business Expenses
An employer can deduct specific amounts of money from an employee’s wages only under limited circumstances. Some deductions such as taxes and Social Security are authorized under state or federal law. Likewise, an employee may have signed a written agreement to deduct the cost of health care or dental plans from a paycheck. Any deduction that falls outside the scope of the law or a signed, written agreement may be illegal. Some common types of illegal wage deductions include an employer deducting the cost of:
- Uniforms required for the job
- Photographs such as those needed for an employee ID or marketing purposes
- Travel expenses for work-related trips such as meals, housing or gasoline
Tip Splitting and Tip Pooling
In general, tip pooling and tip sharing are permitted under California law so long as employers, supervisors or managers do not receive a part of the tips. A legal tip pool can include busboys, waiters, waitresses, bartenders and others who serve customers.
In addition to illegal tip splitting arrangements with managers or supervisors, tip credit arrangements are also illegal under California law. In a typical tip credit arrangement, an employer deducts tips from an employee’s wages. This is an illegal wage deduction, and you can bring a claim against your employer if this has happened to you.
Unpaid Commissions and Bonuses
Commissions and bonuses are governed by California law, the contract you may have with your employer as well as any policy of your employer. In general, an employer must pay you unpaid commissions that you have earned, even if your position is terminated. Even if you only performed a portion of the work leading to a sale, you may be entitled to a pro rata portion of your commission.
Since commission and bonus issues are fact-specific, meaning that they will largely depend on the agreement you have with your employer, it is important that you speak with an attorney about your case. We can assess your situation and help you develop a strategy designed to meet your needs.
In certain industries, employees are typically paid by the piece, meaning that they are paid a fixed rate for each piece of work they complete. A typical example of this type of employment is an individual in the garment industry or a seasonal farm worker. Employees who are paid piece rate are still entitled to minimum wage as well as overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week.