Employees expect to get a fair day's pay for giving a fair day's work. Not all employers see it that way. Some examples of what companies have done could help you recognize wage law violations. Weight Watchers of North America was sued in California in 2010 by 3 women employees who said that Weight Watchers failed to pay them minimum and contract wages, overtime wages, and, when they separated from the company, the wages that were due for their work.
The women were employed by Weight Watchers to serve as leaders at customer meetings and as location coordinators. The company paid them for a set amount of hours each week without regard for the excess hours they worked, so the women got no pay for some of their hours. Making matters worse, Weight Watchers set requirements that caused them to have to work more hours than they were paid for. Its actions so clearly violated the law that it agreed to settle the class action case in California in 2011.
This is not an isolated event. Violations of the state and federal wage laws happen all the time. I was called yesterday by another lawyer about a case against a tax preparation service that is violating wage laws in the same ways. But that company is taking things a step further. They advertise jobs available on Craigslist for first-year tax preparers at $12 an hour, but after training is over, the employees get paid only minimum wage. After one employee quit the tax service, she wasn't paid for the time she worked, because the employer claimed she was a volunteer.
Another kind of wage law violation occurs in restaurants when tips are illegally spread among ineligible classes of employees, like busboys, to boost their wages while diminishing the income of the servers. To get a fair deal from your employer, watch for violations like these. For more information, call The Pittman Firm – our legal team is happy to answer your questions or concerns.