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Are Unpaid Wages a Problem in San Francisco?

Are Unpaid Wages a Problem in San Francisco?

California and federal labor laws require workers to be paid in full for all hours they have worked. The reality, however, is that unpaid wages are an issue that workers struggle with across many different industries and cities, including San Francisco.

San Francisco is a vibrant city with employees who work in restaurants, offices, banks, construction sites and a wide range of other workplaces. Wage theft can occur in any job when an employer fails to pay workers what they are owed. Some common examples of wage disputes include committing paycheck violations, withholding commissions, misclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime, not providing meal breaks or failing to pay employees on time.

Wage Theft in San Francisco

New data from KQED highlights the severity of the wage theft problem in San Francisco and throughout the state. California workers are facing years-long waits for their unpaid wage claims to be resolved. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office is struggling with an enormous backlog of wage theft cases due to understaffing and pandemic-related delays.

In 2019, California workers waited an average of 417 days for a hearing. That figure increased to around 812 days as of February 2022. The agency’s San Francisco branch has among the longest delays in the state, with an average wait time of 968 days in 2021.

If you are a San Francisco worker with unpaid wages, it may seem like you are dealing with an impossible situation. With the right legal guidance, however, workers can recover their hard-earned wages in a timely manner. The San Francisco employment lawyers at McCormack Law Firm have more than two decades of experience protecting the rights of workers and helping them fight for their unpaid wages.

Types of Unpaid Wages

While some forms of wage theft are obvious, others may be harder to identify if you are not aware of your rights under California labor laws. Sometimes employers take advantage of workers who do not know what wages they are owed. For example, the rules around which employees are exempt or non-exempt from overtime can be complex and difficult to understand.

An employment lawyer can examine the details of your situation and help you determine what wages you are owed. Here are some common types of wage violations that San Francisco workers may experience:

  • Minimum wage: It is unlawful for San Francisco employers to pay workers less than California’s minimum wage for each hour worked.

  • Overtime pay: Eligible non-exempt employees should be paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for working over eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek. They should also be paid 2.0 times their regular pay rate for working over 12 hours in a workday. Additional overtime and doubletime applies on the seventh day worked in a row.

  • Meal breaks and rest breaks: Non-exempt employees should receive an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break after every five hours of work, and a 10-minute rest break after four hours of work. Employees not provided with breaks are entitled to premium payments. An employer can never deduct a lunch break from the employee’s time if he or she worked through lunch.

  • Off-the-clock work: Requiring employees to work off the clock without any pay is unlawful. Some examples include pre-shift duties, administrative tasks or work done during a meal break. Time spent putting on protective equipment or waiting for security checks before a shift may be compensable under California law.

  • Sales commissions: Employees who receive commissions must be provided a written agreement that states how commissions will be calculated and paid.

  • Tips: Employees have the right to keep their tips. While reasonable tip pooling arrangements are allowed, managers cannot take tips for themselves. Tips also do not count toward minimum wage.

  • Wage statements: Employers are required to provide workers with itemized wage statements that show the number of hours worked, pay rate and total pay.

  • Illegal wage deductions: Employers are not allowed to make deductions from a worker’s paycheck for unlawful reasons such as damaged equipment, lost merchandise or cash shortages.

What Can San Francisco Workers Do About Unpaid Wages?

Not being paid your wages in full can have a devastating impact on your livelihood and the wellbeing of your family. Under California law, San Francisco workers have the right to file a claim for unpaid wages to recover the payment they are owed from an employer.

A skilled employment attorney can help workers file a claim to recover their unpaid wages, plus penalties and interest. Taking legal action allows you to recover the compensation you deserve.

Employers are not allowed to fire or otherwise retaliate against workers who file a claim for unpaid wages. Retaliatory action can mean an employee has additional grounds for legal action against their employer, such as a wrongful termination claim.

Contact a San Francisco Employment Lawyer

McCormack Law Firm understands how frustrating and stressful it can be to work hard yet not be paid the wages you have earned. An experienced San Francisco employment lawyer can help you hold your employer accountable and recover the wages you are owed.

We recognize it can be difficult to speak up about unpaid wages, but you are not alone. Our legal team is here to guide you through the entire process and resolve your wage dispute. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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McCormack Law Firm

McCormack Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employee rights.We treat all our clients with respect and do our best to handle their legal concerns in a manner that serves your interests. We keep you informed about legal progress made, explain the sequence of legal steps involved, let you know what to expect, and keep you apprised of important legal timelines. From the outset of your case to its resolution, our San Francisco employment attorneys are committed to protecting your interests and helping you achieve your desired objectives.Call today to speak with a San Francisco employment attorney at McCormack Law FirmMcCormack Law Firm506 BroadwaySan Francisco, CA 94133(415) 925-5161https://bmcclaw.com1299... View full business profile here: McCormack Law Firm

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