3 Big Wage And Hour Mistakes California Employers Make

Wage & Hour Laws April 26th, 2024
Wage And Hour Mistakes- Person on top of clock Wage And Hour Mistakes- Person on top of clock

Mistakes happen – even in the workplace. In many cases, the mistakes employers make are the result of oversight or carelessness. Sometimes, though, employers intentionally skirt their responsibilities to employees in ways that are costly or downright dangerous for workers.

Many mistakes employers make involve “wage and hour” laws, which set rules regulating how much workers must be paid and how many hours they can work. The purpose of wage and hour laws is to ensure that employees are paid fairly and are not mistreated or overworked while on the job.

Of all the wage and hour mistakes made by employers, three errors stand out above all the rest. These errors can be costly for employees and, ultimately, employers.

3 Common Wage and Hour Mistakes Made by California Employers

1. Not Compensating Employees For Their Work Off The Clock

Wage and hour laws require employers to compensate their employees for work or work-related activities performed outside normal working hours. Employers must pay workers to unlock a store or turn off the alarm, for example, or to turn on the computers for the day.

Examples of off-the-clock work may include:

  • Attending meetings
  • Donning or doffing (taking on or taking off) protective equipment
  • Driving between work sites

Tracking these activities can be complicated, as it can be difficult to separate official work duties from personal time. Some examples of personal time are chatting with co-workers or getting a cup of coffee before a meeting.

Failure to track these activities or pay employees for their off-the-clock work can have far-reaching consequences. Employers who fail to do so may be ordered to pay the employee for their regular hours worked, overtime, and even penalties.

2. Not Reimbursing Employees For Business-Related Expenses

Some employees must pay for certain work expenses out of their own pockets with the expectation that their employers will cover the costs. 

These expenses may include:

  • Travel
  • Fuel
  • Certain office supplies

In some cases, business owners improperly document the business-related expenses incurred by their workers and therefore do not reimburse the employee. This can become very costly for workers, however it can save unscrupulous employers money.

3. Failing To Enforce Meal And Rest Break Rules

According to California law, the majority of employees are entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted, unpaid, off-duty meal break whenever they work a shift that is 5 hours or longer. The workers must begin their meal break before they complete their fifth hour of work. Workers are also entitled to a second 30-minute meal break when working a 10-hour day.

Despite these laws, employers sometimes fail to enforce meal and rest break rules and other wage and hours laws. In many cases, employers simply do a poor job of record keeping or management. Unfortunately, some employers intentionally break wage and hours rules to skimp on pay and pad their own bottom lines.

Wondering About The Big Wage And Hour Mistakes California Employers Make? Contact Your Employment Attorneys At D.Law

The employment lawyers at D.Law work to protect all workers from these big wage and hour mistakes made by California employers. For more information, consult with or call D.Law. Our employment lawyers can help you fight wage and hour mistakes in the Bay Area, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, and other California cities.

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