Some workers are caught between a rock and a hard place with Los Angeles employers. Employers know paychecks are necessities for most employees. Some companies try to take advantage of that dependency by stealing wages from the people who work for them.
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that a Los Angeles-area company violated labor laws. Truck drivers accused Pacific 9 Transportation, a freight-hauling business, of misclassification of employees as independent contractors and harassing workers who even talk about unionizing.
Recently we discussed minimum wage laws in California for tipped employees. Federal law mandates that restaurant owners pay employees the difference between the federal tip wage of $2.13 and federal minimum wage of $7.25 if their tips don't get them to that amount. Those who don't do that are violating the law.
As we noted recently, there's been a lot of discussion around raising the minimum wage, both in California, where Governor Brown signed an increase into law, and at the federal level, where such efforts have had less success. However, many employees who regularly receive customer gratuities are not paid based on the regular minimum wage. The good news for California's tipped employees is that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the hourly minimum wage in our state is the same as for non-tipped workers: $8.00. If you move to another state, however, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Increasing the minimum wage is the subject of heated debate among politicians. While much of this debate is along partisan lines, one prominent California Republican has gone against many Republican legislators on the issue - some of whom want to eliminate the concept. Meanwhile, a majority of Republican voters say they approve of raising the minimum wage.
When it comes to wage and hour laws, some companies, regardless of size, never consider what they should and should not be doing. While some of these entities never get called out by employees, this is not always the case. Others soon find that employees are tired of them breaking the law, and as a result they find themselves locked up in a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Labor ensures that employees are paid according to federal law. In cases where there are many employees affected by the actions of an employer who doesn't abide by federal wage and hour laws, the DOL can file suit against the erring employer. That is exactly what happened in a shocking case out of Ohio.
A pair of Apple retail employees has filed a lawsuit against their former employer, alleging the company has engaged in improper and illegal wage practices. The suit was filed in federal court in the Northern District of California on July 25 and according to court paperwork, is seeking class-action certification.