Overtime violations expose employers to expensive litigation as employees attempt to cash in on the rise in overtime related lawsuits.  California Courts have witnessed a significant increase over the past few years in overtime related litigation.  It is not a secret that the Courts tend to lean toward the side of the employee in these cases, so it is important to take action to update internal policies and procedures, managerial behaviors and employee contracts and manuals.  Employers in 2016 are faced with one of the toughest arrays of new laws and regulations regarding employment – especially in the area of overtime and employee related issues.

The issues relate to ambiguity associated with the hours required to perform the work at hand, and the written expectations of San Diego employers.  The employee will claim “it was an expected part of the job to work at night and on the weekends.  They know there’s no way to get the work done in 8 hours a day.”  There have been recent case results where employees with no documentation except a few after hours emails have convinced a court that they were required to work overtime, even though they submitted time cards and accepted pay checks showing no overtime hours.

Employers must take substantial action to establish firm boundaries regarding overtime hours, the use of company resources, and the documentation of hours worked during the course of employment.  Overtime policies must be clearly established in all internal employee contracts, handbooks, and in some cases even on time cards themselves.  The management team must implement new strategies to clearly communicate overtime policies consistently throughout the organization.  This must be backed up with extensive documentation, and in some cases changes to system access after hours and closer scrutiny of employee activities and time reports.

2016 has brought a new threshold of challenge for San Diego employers.  Overtime violations expose employers to expensive litigation and other risks.  Contact the “lawyers for employers” at the Watkins Firm for a free and substantive consultation at 858-535-1511.

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