What steps should businesses take to avoid unpaid wage lawsuits?
There has been a troublesome trend in California businesses in which the employees are filing wage and hour lawsuits against their employers for violating labor laws. The costs of the employers have exponentially gone up due to the rising number of lawsuits. Besides this, the number of successful lawsuits is also going up as employees now have the best unpaid wage lawyers by their side. Every year, nearly 25,000 claims are received by the US Department of Labor. The number of complaints being filed in the federal court has become five times than it was ten years ago. The employees can claim for a number of labor law violations like unpaid wages, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to provide minimum wages, failure to provide meal breaks, etc. Do you know what is the minimum wage in California? Employers with a smaller number of employees need to be paid The employers with a total of 25 employees will have to be paid a minimum salary of $12.00, whereas employers having a larger number of employees i.e. 26 or more employees will have to be paid a minimum amount of $13.00.
Over 40% of the lawsuits have been filed against employers for failure to pay overtime wages to the employees. The other wage and hour claims include-
- Misclassification for employees
- Denial of meal breaks
- Failure to provide overtime wages
- inappropriate computation of overtime
- Failure to provide meal breaks or overtime wages by misclassifying employees as exempt employees
Hence, employers need to bear a very heavy amount of compensation for non-compliance with the laws. It’s difficult for the small businesses to bear these damages. The settlements include – attorney and court fees, compensation for unpaid wages, liquidated damages which equals the sum of owing compensation, and award of back wages for up to 3 years.
To protect business interests, employers must take the necessary steps to avoid such penalties.
- Measures for calculating time– Class action lawsuits by the employees have become a common thing in which the workers claim that employers have failed to measure the hours accurately and that they have failed to pay for working overtime. To avoid such claims, the employers should maintain a proper record of work time so that it can be used for verification purposes. Some of the best practices include- Using an electronic system or actual clock to maintain time records, keeping a record of the non-exempt employees, and scrutinizing of timecards by the supervisors. Besides this, the employer should also have a well-drafted policy that should mention that employees have to maintain their time records; employees will be paid for working overtime, and off the clockwork should be forbidden.
- Enhance training on non-compliance– One of the best ways to avoid unpaid wage lawsuit is to provide training to the supervisors on the areas where the likelihood of violations is more. They should be trained so that they become aware of the consequences in case of non-compliance with the regulation. The chances of lawsuits can be reduced by providing adequate training and by enforcing them.
However, if employees face violations, they can sue their employers for the same. The best employment lawyer in nakase law firm in California is an expert in unpaid wages, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, gender, and racial discrimination.