Recently, a California-based company settled a lawsuit that alleged numerous wage and hour violations. The settlement, $1.8 million, is large, and for many companies, that kind of result would be a massive hit to their bottom line. It is also a demonstration of how a series of small missteps and oversights can add up to large liabilities.
A Class Action lawsuit
This outcome is noteworthy because it is a large settlement that comes as part of a class action lawsuit. The employees allege that the company denied them:
- Overtime wages
- Accurate wage statements
- Wages due at termination
- Meal and rest periods
These are violations of the regulations regarding non-exempt employees in California. The regulations are extremely clear about what constitutes a non-exempt employee and how an employer should treat them. Another compelling point is the relatively small payout for each class member: $566.19.
A large settlement made up of such amounts is a signal of a significant disregard of California labor law across a company. This kind of oversight can be disastrous, as demonstrated.
Seeking compliance in California.
A central piece of the legal strategy for your company is maintaining compliance with employment regulations. There are many moving pieces, but meeting with all of those parts is essential.
Setting company policy is the best way to ensure you’ve not left your company open to massive liability. If your standard company practices lead to regular violations, you may eventually face significant wage and hour litigation.