Five Ways Employers Take Advantage Of Their Employees
Without an employment lawyer by your side, it’s nearly impossible to understand the full scope of your rights as a worker. At Caskey & Holzman, we champion California workers who are taken advantage of by their employers. Some unlawful tactics employers use are obvious, while others are stealthy and you may not even realize the damage they do to your paycheck. Below are just five ways employers take advantage of their employees.
1. Not paying you for overtime
If you work over a certain number of hours every week, you are guaranteed a higher rate of pay to account for that overtime, but some employers find ways around this. They may simply not pay you for the time, make you clock out early or alter the time sheets to make it appear as though you worked those hours in another week.
2. Misclassifying you as an independent contractor
Employees are guaranteed certain benefits under California law that independent contractors do not have. But both state and federal law dictates that independent contractors must have a certain amount of autonomy to be given that status. Many employers classify their workers as independent contractors so they can skip out on giving employee benefits, even though those workers are considered employees in the eyes of the law. Learn more about the differences between an employee and an independent contractor.
3. Making you clock in late or clock out early
While the law can be vague on what counts as “work time,” employers tend to make many of their workers prepare for their jobs or clean up their work stations off the clock. If you are told to do any work before or after you stamp your time card, you are being robbed of hard-earned wages.
4. Rounding your hours down
Some employers track hours worked in 15-minute increments and may round your hours down to the nearest 15-minute mark. While this may not sound like much of a difference, this adds up to a substantial amount of money over time. Always keep an eye on your time sheet and make sure your employer is paying you for every minute of work.
5. Not giving you required breaks and meal times
Nonexempt California workers are guaranteed a 30-minute meal break for every five hours they work in a day, as well as a 10-minute break for every four hours they work. That meal break must be offered within the first five hours of work. And if you work over 10 hours in a workday, you must be offered two meal breaks. If your employer is refusing to allow you your break time or making you work through your meals and breaks, it may be violating the law.
Is Your Employer Acting Unlawfully? We Can Help.
These are just some of the ways employers take advantage of their workers. There are a range of unlawful tactics beyond this list, such as:
- Not reimbursing you for mileage
- Not reimbursing you for cellphone use
- Not properly paying you for on-call time
- Requiring you to come to unpaid meetings
Caskey & Holzman offers free case evaluations in our Calabasas office to help determine if your employer is cheating you of your wages. If this is happening to you, odds are this is happening to your co-workers as well. We investigate every claim and may file a class action against your employer if necessary to secure your hard-earned wages.