Employers in California face a complex and confusing set of laws and regulations that are largely enforced by State and Federal administrative agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), and the California Employment Development Department (EDD). These agencies enforce laws related to wages, sick time, record keeping, meal and rest breaks, retaliation claims, and unemployment claims. In addition to Federal and State laws, employers are also subject to enforcement policies, wage orders, and directives of these agencies that establish the duties and responsibilities of employers. The experienced attorneys at Gould & Hahn are very familiar with these laws and regulations are prepared to assist you with a wage claim lawyer or other legal help.
Wage claims are a common dispute between residential care facility operators and their employees. These complaints generally include claims for unpaid overtime, rest breaks, meal breaks, and various penalties under the California Labor Code. Employees have the choice to file these claims with the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the “Labor Commission”), or directly in Federal or State courts and can receive enforceable judgments from the Labor Commission or through the courts.
Wage laws are also enforced by the DOL and the DIR through investigation and audit procedures. Both agencies have the authority to investigate wage violations, issue penalties and request payment of back wages directly to employees. These audits go back as much as three years and include all employees employed during the claim period.
Many claims against employers could be avoided if employers understood their responsibilities regarding each specific employment circumstance. As attorneys for employers who hire employees to provide 24-hour care, Gould & Hahn is particularly knowledgeable about the laws for licensed residential care facilities and provides guidance in this complex area.
If you have been contacted by an investigator for the DOL or DIR, you may be able to avoid an audit, or reduce the amount of back wages and penalties owed, with the guidance of Gould & Hahn. If an employee has made a complaint against you, it is important to respond quickly. In some cases, claims can be resolved between the employer and employee before the formal filing of a case with the Labor Commission or civil courts. Gould & Hahn has assisted its clients in negotiating and resolving employee claims before they are filed, thereby saving our clients the emotional and financial burden of a contested administrative or civil proceeding. If you receive notice that a claim has been filed, contact Gould & Hahn immediately in order to preserve your right to respond. We offer a full team of legal support, including a dedicated wage claim lawyer.
Gould & Hahn also represents employers who are subject to retaliation and unemployment claims. Our attorneys will guide you through the initial investigation stages that require a written or verbal response to these claims, and will also do so at the hearing if necessary. If you have received a notice that a retaliation or unemployment claim has been filed, contact Gould & Hahn immediately before filing any response with the DIR or EDD. Any written response or documents you provide will be used to determine whether an employee is eligible for unemployment or has suffered a retaliatory disciplinary action.