San Diego Wage and Hour Lawyers
Most California employers realize that our State Courts tend to side with employees, even in some cases where there doesn’t seem to be any evidence. Lawsuits involving unpaid overtime and other wage and hour issues are increasing each year. How can a California employer protect themselves and reduce the opportunity for employees to sue for unpaid overtime?
The employer focused attorneys at the Watkins Firm have served San Diego employers and businesses for decades. We have defended San Diego employers in all forms of employment disputes including discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and employer retaliation cases. Unpaid overtime cases are an area of focus for our team of skilled attorneys, and helping our clients to reduce the exposure and risk our clients face in this area is one of the valuable services we provide.
Employment Contracts, Policies and Procedures, Employee Handbooks, even Time Cards are All Inter-Related
The battle to reduce exposure to unpaid overtime lawsuits begins with the contract for employment, and continues through all employment related materials provided by your company to employees including:
- Policy and Procedures
- Employee Handbook
- Physical Time Card Itself
- Overtime Specific Agreements
There are strategies that we share with our clients to help eliminate the risk of an employee walking into Court and telling the Judge “I had to work hours each night and on the weekend in order to keep my job.” The employee may provide hand written records or a few emails. The next thing you know the Judge has issued an order for you to pay a substantial amount of unpaid overtime, along with penalties, interest and of course, withholding taxes and FICA. Can you prevent this scenario?
The employment contract should contain specific language about hours that are worked, compensation and the calculation of overtime. This contract should also specifically limit overtime and require employees to request and receive approval, in writing, in advance of working any overtime on behalf of the firm. These policies should be carried through to all policies and procedures guidelines, and a separate section addressing overtime added to the employee manual.
We have provided specific language for our clients to add to the bottom of time cards including a statement that must be signed by the employee to prevent any discrepancy or misunderstanding. We usually include language that ties the employee to a penalty of perjury, thereby reducing at every turn the opportunity for an employee to report overtime that was unpaid.
Serious Times Call for Seasoned Lawyers for Employers
The exposure to unpaid overtime litigation begins with the employment contract itself, and flows through all other employment related documents in your company, including your time cards. Protect yourself. Learn about new strategies to lock down your internal process and reduce or eliminate the risk of unpaid overtime litigation. Contact us, or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary and substantive consultation.
The employer focused attorneys at the Watkins Firm will put decades of experience and expertise in employment law and litigation to work for your business. Together, we will work to bring all areas of wage and hour, labor and employment into compliance with federal and California law. Together, we’ll position your business to grow to the next level.