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Wage and Hour Claims -- a Common Form of Employment Dispute

            Wage and Hour claims are a common type of employment dispute that often leads to litigation. Wage and hour claims usually arise when a business classifies and pays an employee as a salaried employee rather than paying that employee hourly inclusive of overtime. Under California law, most employees are required to be classified as non-exempt, i.e. paid by the hour and paid overtime.  There are exceptions, but these exceptions are narrow and often do not apply even if common sense seems to indicate that a given employee should be paid via salary. For example, very responsible employees may appear to be "management" because they have considerable responsibility and do not appear to do the kind of work that should involve "punching a timeclock." Unless these employees actually have people reporting directly to them and unless certain other criteria apply, the State will often hold that these employees are non-exempt and must be paid overtime. One of the most common errors that California employers make is to pay employees a weekly salary rather than pay them as hourly employees. 

            Wage and Hour claims are a common type of employment dispute that often leads to litigation. Wage and hour claims usually arise when a business classifies and pays an employee as a salaried employee rather than paying that employee hourly inclusive of overtime. Under California law, most employees are required to be classified as non-exempt, i.e. paid by the hour and paid overtime.  There are exceptions, but these exceptions are narrow and often do not apply even if common sense seems to indicate that a given employee should be paid via salary. For example, very responsible employees may appear to be "management" because they have considerable responsibility and do not appear to do the kind of work that should involve "punching a timeclock." Unless these employees actually have people reporting directly to them and unless certain other criteria apply, the State will often hold that these employees are non-exempt and must be paid overtime. One of the most common errors that California employers make is to pay employees a weekly salary rather than pay them as hourly employees. 

            Buffington Law Firm's experienced Orange County employment law attorneys often counsel California employers concerning employee labor classifications and matters concerning employment disputes of all kinds.  Companies that are members of our corporate counselor program can receive comprehensive legal advice directly from an experienced labor law attorney concerning how to classify employees.  

            Misclassification of employees as exempt employees, paid by salary rather than hourly can be a costly mistake, however well-intentioned.  Unfortunately, what often happens is that an employee who is being paid a salary determines that California law will probably consider him or her a non-exempt employee. The employee begins keeping track of the hours worked, including overtime. Eventually that employee files a lawsuit against the employer for the unpaid overtime. These claims can be large, into six figures. 

            If your business is confronted with a wage and hour claim, or if you believe that you are entitled to compensation because you have such a claim, you need the help of an experienced labor attorney. Buffington Law Firm's experienced Orange County employment attorneys have handled many wage and hour claims and achieved successful outcomes. In order to determine your legal options Buffington Law Firm will provide you with a  free legal consultation. At this consultation you will speak at no charge directly with one of our experienced California labor law litigation attorneys.  

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