San Diego Employment Law Attorneys
Wages, Benefits, Classification, Termination
People throughout San Diego and surrounding areas contact our law firm for advice and representation involving legal concerns related to labor and employment such as the following:
- Wage and hour violations
- Minimum wage
- Reimbursement of business expenses
- Prevailing wage laws
- Double time pay
- Meal and rest breaks
- Split shift and reporting time pay
- Business expense reimbursement
- Severance pay
- Off-the-clock time
- Misclassifications and exemptions
- Independent contractor misclassification
- Discrimination on the job
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful termination
We are experienced, accomplished California employment law attorneys who represent employees in a wide range of employment matters. In addition to representing employees individually, we also bring class action lawsuits in instances where employer misconduct negatively impacts a large number of workers.
Our lawyers have found over the years that many employees are unaware of what their rights are. However, most people have a sense when something is not right. This may include being asked to work off the clock or being classified as independent contractors although the working relationship has every appearance of a classic employee-employer relationship.
We have served working men and women in a number of fields, including the restaurant and hospitality industry, sales, the construction industry, and the real estate and mortgage industry
Wage and Hour Claims
Does your employer routinely ask you to work off the clock to avoid paying overtime? Are you being paid less than minimum wage when all the hours you actually work are taken into account? Does your employer claim that you are an independent contractor in order to avoid paying you a fair salary for the work that you perform? Or do they claim that you are a manager and therefore “exempt” from wage and hour laws, when in fact you do the same work as hourly employees?
These and other wage and hour disputes involving both pay and benefits cause many California workers to question whether they are being treated fairly on the job. At Keegan & Baker, LLP, our lawyers welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation and concerns, and make recommendations on how you can assert your rights as specified by California laws.
Our employment law attorneys have helped hundreds of employees throughout California to be compensated for wage and hour violations by scores of employers.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with an employment lawyer.
Employees often seek our advice and assistance when they believe they are shortchanged in their paychecks or the hours they are required to work seem excessive. Typical scenarios that San Diego workers report include the following:
- Tip pooling schemes whereby waitstaff’s tips are shared with managers or dishwashers
- Misclassifying hourly employees as “managers” (allowing employers to avoid paying overtime) or as “independent contractors”
- Failing to allow regular lunch breaks and rest breaks
- Requiring that employees be “on call” and ready to come to work within a short period of time
- Comp time off given in lieu of overtime pay
If your employer asks you to work off the clock or report to work and then to leave early without proper pay, contact an attorney at the law offices of Keegan & Baker, LLP.
Even if your complaint seems minor, you may be able to join a class action lawsuit along with other workers and receive the compensation you deserve while sending a message to your employer and other employers throughout California.
If you are or were a construction worker employed on a public works project in Orange County, it is important to know whether you were paid at the prevailing wage for your occupation. According to the federal prevailing wage law known as the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 and its California equivalent, California Labor Code §§ 1771 et seq., construction workers on these projects must receive fair wages and benefits for the work they perform. Fair wages for public works projects differ by occupation, such as the following:
- Cement workers
- Carpenters, including framers and finish carpenters
- Operators of large machinery such as bulldozers, cranes and forklifts
Contact Keegan & Baker, LLP, to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys are experienced and well prepared to evaluate your potential employment law matter in Orange County, San Diego or elsewhere in California. Your case may be remedied through a class action lawsuit or an individual lawsuit against your employer. You may be entitled to back pay to compensate for the difference between what you earned and what you were entitled to.
You may have been told that you were being paid at prevailing wage, but upon closer examination, our lawyers may find that your employer skirted around the law. Some examples tactics employed by contractors who appear to pay prevailing wages, but in fact, shortchange laborers, include the following:
Misclassifying workers so as to pay less than prevailing wage in public works projects
Asking workers to work off the clock, work more hours than they report on a given day or work straight through meals and rest break times
Committing other wage and hour violations such as failing to pay overtime
Failing to pay half of an employee’s usual pay after asking him to leave the job site early
Ask an Orange County employment lawyer to help you determine whether the public works project that you worked on was one where you should have been paid at prevailing wages — and were not. Contact us to schedule a consultation regarding any dispute related to employment, wages.
Meal & Rest Breaks
It is far too common for employers to be ignorant — or to feign ignorance — of employment laws such as wage and hour laws. Labor laws that require that workers receive regular meal and rest breaks. All too often, these laws are brushed aside by employers.
State and federal labor and employment laws are designed to keep working conditions tolerable and humane. Meal and rest breaks are necessary to prevent fatigue and allow employees time to decompress from the stress of their job. In some jobs, employee fatigue can directly lead to dangerous conditions for patients, customers or other members of the general public.
Sometimes employers claim that they did, in fact, give employees their allotted meal and work breaks. However, in some instances employers keep written records of meal breaks and rest breaks as required. Or they fail to relieve workers of all duties during meal and rest breaks — instead, allowing or encouraging situations where workers eat on the job. Truck drivers who eat while driving are breaking employment laws, and employers who turn their back on such practices are guilty of wage and hour violations.
Did your employee misclassify you as “exempt” in order to avoid keeping records of your meals and rest breaks — when in fact, you did the work of an hourly employee? Whatever your concerns or situation, talk to an experienced San Diego employment lawyer to learn whether your case warrants a lawsuit — or whether you can join an already existing class action lawsuit. You may be entitled to back pay to compensate you for unpaid and unauthorized meal and rest breaks. Call or e-mail the law firm of Keegan & Baker, LLP, to schedule a compensation.
Exemptions and Misclassifications
At the San Diego employment law offices of Keegan & Baker, LLP, our lawyers work to protect employees from violations of their rights under existing labor laws. Wage and hour laws in California and throughout the U.S. make provision for overtime pay for workers who put in more than 8 hours a day or more than 40 hours a week. Exempt employees who do not have to be paid on a strictly hourly basis include professionals such as managers, administrative personnel and sales representatives.
Many employers therefore appear to try to bypass wage and hour laws by labeling workers as “managers,” “salespersons” or “independent contractors”, even though they actually perform the same tasks as hourly workers. This type of job misclassification enables the employer to require overtime work without compensating workers with overtime pay. Job misclassification of hourly workers as “exempt” professionals or independent contractors also allows the employer to avoid the expense and paperwork involved in providing paid meal and rest breaks as required by law.
Has your employer misclassified you as an independent contractor, as an assistant manager, even though your tasks are no different than those of a regular employee, or as an exempt commissioned salesperson? By labeling you in a misleading manner, your employer may have been deliberately taking advantage of you by requiring you to work overtime without pay, by ignoring wage and hour laws including legal provisions for meals and break times, by not taking your commissions into account for overtime pay and by not reimbursing you for expenses such as use of your car or cell phone.
Talk to a San Diego employment law attorney at Keegan & Baker, LLP, if you suspect that your employer sought to avoid paying you overtime by way of misclassification of your job. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation. Learn about your wage and benefits rights and about how our lawyers may help you obtain compensation for pay that you were wrongfully denied through the misclassification of your position.
Independent Contractor Misclassification
Construction workers perform some of the most physically challenging work there is. Unfortunately, employers often seek ways to cut costs and streamline the construction process through misclassifying employees as “independent contractors”.
Misclassifying construction workers, as well as employees in other fields, enables the employer to avoid paying benefits such as workers’ compensation insurance, health care and paid time off.
The so-called “independent contractors” are left to handle all their own tax obligations since the employer does not withhold Social Security taxes as is done for “regular” employees. If your San Diego employer has misclassified you as an “independent contractor,” you will not be covered by workers’ comp insurance in the event that you are injured while working. You will likely be denied overtime pay as well as pay for meals and rest periods.
Our San Diego Employment Law Firm Addresses Misclassification of Contractors
Contact the law offices of Keegan & Baker, LLP, to schedule a consultation regarding your employer’s misclassification of your office worker job or construction labor job as an “independent contractor” position. We represent men and women throughout the San Diego area in employment claims, and have experience evaluating potential job misclassifications. We represent employees in both individual claims or in class action lawsuits.
Ask us about any aspect of employment law issues or conflicts such as misclassification of contractors. Our lawyers are here to answer questions and to help San Diego employees enforce California and federal wage and hour laws. Call our law offices or e-mail us through this Web site.