Recently, a car wash in California was sued by the Office of the Labor Commissioner for failing to pay adequate wages to 33 of its employees. The car wash allegedly failed to pay its workers minimum wage and overtime.
The case began when an investigation started after the Labor Commissioner’s office received complaints about the car wash’s labor practices. The investigation discovered that workers who arrived and started work were asked not to “clock in” by a supervisor. This resulted in many employees working several hours a week off the clock and not receiving payment. In the worst instances, employees would work eight hours and get paid for four.
This case illustrates the lengths to which some employers will go in order to avoid paying wages. Unfortunately, there are many more employers out there in California who also don’t pay proper wages to their employees, particularly if the employees are undocumented immigrants or who don’t speak English well. Those groups can be particularly vulnerable to abuses by employers who assume they will not seek legal help.
Under California law (and federal law), employees must be paid a minimum hourly wage for work they perform. If an employee shows up to work a scheduled shift and begins working, the employee must be allowed to clock in and to be paid for those hours. To fail to pay employees for work that is performed can result in not only back wages being paid, but also fines, penalties and interest.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that all employees have the right to be paid for hours worked, and that employers who do not do so should be held responsible. If you have any issues with unpaid wages or other employment issues, call Micha Liberty, Oakland and Alameda County employment law attorney, at Liberty Law at 415-896-1000.