Practice Area

Wages and Overtime

Bluestone Law Recovers Unpaid Wages and Penalties for Workers Who Were Not Paid Properly

Wage and overtime are perhaps two of the most important employment law topics from the perspective of a worker. Workers want to know that they are properly compensated for time spent working.

Employees may be concerned about how to file a complaint in the event their wage and overtime rights are violated. When laws are properly observed, wage and overtime issues are seldom a problem, but when the laws are violated, these issues loom large for workers forced to forfeit adequate pay for the time and energy expended at work. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a complaint about your wages and manner of pay.

Don’t let wage and overtime issues go unaddressed. If you think your rights have been violated, contact Bluestone Law today. Our team of expert employment law specialists are ready to assist you with the expert legal assistance you need to bring your dispute to a successful close.

Our Firm Seek Maximum Compensation for All Types of Wage and Hour Claims

The Bluestone Law handles all types of wage and hour disputes, including:


Overtime pay applies to any time worked by a non-exempt employee over 8 hours per workday and over 40 hours per workweek. In accordance with California overtime laws, overtime pay is calculated as 1.5 times your regular hourly rate.

Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Los Angeles County increased to $13 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $12 per hour for employees with 25 or fewer employees. The minimum wage will be adjusted on a yearly basis through 2023.

Unpaid Work “Off-the-Clock”

Work that is “off the clock” is any work performed for an employer that is not compensated at either the regular or overtime rate. “Off-the-clock” work varies by employer and even industry. Essentially, all job-related activities that benefit the employer should be part of the employee’s paid time.

Vacation Pay

An employee who is terminated or laid off must be paid all of his or her earned and unpaid wages, including unused vacation or other paid time off, at the time of termination.


Commissions are earnings based on a percentage of the price of goods or services an employee sells. A written commission agreement determines when the commissions are considered earned. Once the commissions are earned, California’s regular payday laws apply. This means you must be paid at least twice a month, including any commissions that you’ve earned.

Late Payment of Final Wages

Labor Code section 203 specifies employer penalties for not following the law regarding payments. Section 203 assesses a monetary penalty equal to one day of wages, at the employee’s standard hourly rate, for each day the employer is late, up to a maximum of thirty days. In other words, if your employer is 30 days late with your paycheck, they employer must pay a penalty of 30 days times your daily wage.

Making Employees Pay for Items Essential to the Job

Items which are essential to the job, such as work equipment, should be paid for by the employer. Your employer may also owe you payment for travel time and mileage as required by your job duties.

Illegal Wage Deductions

Employee rights under California wage and hour law protects workers from unlawful deductions employers may use to minimize the compensation owed to you. You may see unlawful deductions show up on your check stub, such as maintenance, tools or for broken equipment, which you do not legally have to pay.

Bonus Disputes

A bonus dispute often arises in the aftermath of a termination or layoff. In these cases, employers will sometimes fail to pay out bonus compensation owed to the employee. If you have met the requirements for a bonus, then you should receive it. The failure of your company to deliver is wrong and in many cases illegal.

Misclassified as Exempt Salaried Employee

The rules for determining the status of exempt and nonexempt employees are complex. Generally speaking, to be exempt, the employee must exercise independent judgment when performing job duties and be paid at least two times the minimum wage for full-time employment. There are other tests as well. Only through careful investigation and analysis by an experienced exemption lawyer can your status be determined. If you receive a salary or have the title “manager,” you are not necessarily an exempt employee. In reality, you may actually be a nonexempt employee and entitled to overtime pay.

Misclassified as an Independent Contractor

Employers may attempt to classify workers as independent contractors because it is less expensive to the employer. Employers do not have to provide independent contractors with health care benefits or cover them under California workers compensation, disability, unemployment or Social Security insurance. Employers sometimes improperly classify their employees as “managers” or as “independent contractors,” to prevent those employees from receiving meal and rest breaks or overtime. An employee who is improperly classified as an independent contractor, but treated like an employee, may be entitled to compensation.

Meal and Rest Breaks

Employees are also entitled to uninterrupted meals and rest breaks during their workday.