Ask The Attorney – Basic Employment Law Disputes

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

INTRODUCTION: Employment law disputes are one of the most litigated in California. Many businesses are violating the law without even knowing it. Each year, the Labor Commissioner as well as attorneys, sue Asian businesses knowing that they lack the requisite knowledge to defend an employment lawsuit.

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Cheng: I used to work in a restaurant and the owner worked us 10 Hours a day straight. I am tired. Recently, I requested a break and was fired. I am still waiting for my paycheck and it has been two months. I was paid $30/Day and owed $390.00 for 13 days of work because I worked six days a week. I worked there for 6 months. Is this legal? Jessica – Rosemead

ANSWER: Jessica, not only was this illegal but the violations of the law allow you to receive much more money than what you think is owed to you. Our business law department represents numerous businesses in the San Gabriel Valley, including restaurants. The actions by the owner are classic labor law violations. Minimum Wage: First, no person can contract for less than minimum wage. Currently, minimum wage is $8/Hour in 2008.

Therefore, at a minimum you are owed $80/Day and not $30/Day as stated. Meal Breaks: Each day you work more five hours you are required to get a meal break not less than 30 minutes. Failure to do so allow you to receive a penalty of $8/Day for every meal missed. Furthermore, depending on your specific circumstances you may also need to receive another $8/Day in a second meal break missed. Rest Breaks: You were also required, based on your circumstances, to receive a rest break no less than 10 minutes, twice a day. A violation of this allows you to receive one additional hour of pay. Overtime: Any time you work over 8 hours a day and less than 12 hours you are required to receive 1.5 x your hourly wage. Therefore, each day you worked you were entitled to receive another $48/Day ($12 x 4). Termination: Anytime you are terminated you are required to receive your pay immediately. If you do not you receive your average daily wage as a penalty for up to 30 days. Therefore, being that your average daily wage (including penalties) should have been $128 you are entitled to receive $3840.00 in penalties. Conclusion: The approximate amount you are entitled to receive based upon your facts is $17952.00. This is calculated on the wages and penalties that you are entitled to receive minus the actual amount received. In conclusion to your question, the answer is no, this was absolutely illegal.

QUESTION: Dear Attorney Cheng: I am a business owner in a large company in the San Gabriel area. I am worried about Labor Code violations because the employee recently requested time records and I no longer have them. Are there any legal consequences of not keeping employment records?
Sam – Rowland Heights

ANSWER: Dear Sam, under the Labor Code you are required to keep documentation available for your employees to copy. Failure to do so within 21 days of a written request for them entitles employees to damages that can range up to $4000.00. Furthermore, when there is a labor dispute, there is a presumption that if the employer fails to keep proper documentation, the employees’ statements can be used to support hours worked. This is a very severe consequence because an employee can claim many extreme figures for their employment. However, if the employer cannot substantiate the hours worked, the employee is not penalized for a disorganized employer.

The Law Offices of Paul P. Cheng is a full service firm with its main location in Pasadena, California. Paul Cheng is a master communicator and has lectured to thousands of individuals in many different areas of the law. His goal is to empower the public by giving them the basic legal knowledge to achieve their goals. To be placed on the e-blast for future lectures or newsletters email: Contact@PaulChengLaw.com.

ASK THE ATTORNEY is a news supplement that is included in the Chinese Daily News (Saturday), Taiwanese Daily News (Monday), the Chinese Biz News (Weekly), and on Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/AttorneyPaulCheng.

Paul Cheng was recently selected as a contributor for the upscale Vivid Magazine (http://www.vividmagazine.net/) and will be published in their second quarter issue of 2009.

To learn more about Paul P. Cheng go to http://www.paulchenglaw.com.
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