California Labor Lawsuits Continue

When it comes to wage and hour lawsuits employers do not seem to have caught on to their errors but the attorneys have. Some of the biggest mistakes that employers make when it comes to wage and hour laws are as follows.

  • Failure to pay overtime
  • Failure to provide rest and meal periods
  • Misclassifying employees as either exempt or as an independent contractor when they are simply non-exempt employees.
  • Failure to pay minimum wage correctly
  • Failure to include performance bonuses when calculating employees overtime pay.

Many employers do not take seriously the rest and meal periods.  The purpose of these provisions is to spread out the work day by giving employees breaks that average out to about one every two hours during a regular eight-hour work day.

Lunches and Meal Periods

Employees must have taken their lunch by the sixth hour of the day.  The lunch period does not have to be provided if the employee works no longer than six hours in a day.  But if the employee works over six hours they need to have finished their lunch break by the sixth hour of work.

Wage and hour laws do give employers some flexibility concerning lunches and meal periods.  The employee may take their lunch or meal period any time after being at work for two hours.  So if the employee takes their lunch or meal period that quickly then the rest breaks will be at around the fourth hour of the day and the last rest break will be taken at about the sixth hour of the day.

Employees are not able to use their lunch or meal period so that they can go home early.  Employees may elect to not take their lunch but the employee must request it, and it is a good idea for the request to be in writing.  It is also a good idea to not make this a regular practice.