Attorney to Sue LAUSD for Unpaid Wages
All employers are legally obligated to pay you the necessary wages for the regular hours as well as all the overtime hours you worked. When your employer refuses to pay you or illegally withholds money from your paycheck, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer to collect that which you are owed and more. The California Employment Attorneys Group is here to ensure that you get paid every last dime that you are owed and can provide the necessary representation which can make all the difference.
School districts must adhere to the laws of the land, just like all other employers. While many school districts do, in fact, pay teachers their contractually obligated wages, there are some districts who withhold payment from their employee’s paycheck or refuse to pay for overtime. These practices are illegal and give you the option to file a lawsuit against the school district. In Southern California, in the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is required to pay all staff and faculty the wages they are owed. So whether you are a teacher, superintendent, custodian, librarian, or any other employee of the district, you deserve to get paid for the labor for which you traded your time. If you worked overtime, you deserve to get paid for the amount of time you put in.
The California Employment Attorneys Group has much experience in handling wage and hour cases. Our experienced lawyers have a deep understanding of the laws which surround unpaid wages and hour claims. If you believe that the LAUSD has withheld wages or refused to pay you for your work, and want any information on how to proceed and getting what you deserve, contact our Los Angeles law office.
Is There a Wage Claim for Your Situation?
Employers are legally obligated to pay their employees the minimum wage, at the very least. So this means that all employees must get paid the federal minimum wage or the state/local minimum wage – whichever has the higher amount. Of course, if the employer and employee agreed to a higher wage rate than the minimum wage, then the employer is obliged to pay the employee that agreed amount (this amount is normally agreed upon employment and further raises due to performance and time spent working). If the LAUSD fails to act in accordance with the law, or the contract which they signed, then the employee has a right to file a lawsuit against them and collect the damages which they suffered as a result of not being paid. For example, if you are a custodian for one of the many fine Los Angeles schools and you have to work overtime to install a new P.A. system, you deserve to get paid for your regular hours as well as the overtime hours you spent installing the necessary equipment. If the LAUSD only pays you for your regular hours, you have legal grounds to file a lawsuit against them.
You have the right to file an unpaid wage claim against your employer if they do not pay you for the following work you did:
- minimum wage;
- “off-the-clock” work;
- for accrued vacation time;
- for overtime pay;
- for travel time during the day that is related to work.
- for a break;
- for the time you need to apply safety gear or uniforms.
If your employer refused to pay you the minimum wage (either the federal or state minimum wage), or the wage which was agreed upon in your employment contract, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer.
How Does Overtime Pay Function?
If you work over your normal work hours, you are entitled to receive wages for those hours at a greater rate of pay. The amount of money you receive for your overtime hours depends on how much you make, but in general, it is one and one-half more than your regular rate of pay. Under federal law, an employee that has worked more than 40 hours in a business week should receive overtime pay for the time that was worked. When employers do not pay their employees for the overtime worked, employees have the legal grounds to present a claim of unpaid overtime wages against their employers.
What Sort of Compensation Is Available to Employees?
When employers do not pay their employees the amount they are rightfully owed, employees can collect damages for the troubles they faced as a result of not being paid. “Damages” is the amount of monetary compensation available if you sue the LAUSD for unpaid waged.
- Due Unpaid Wages: Before anything, you are entitled to the amount of money which was absent from your paycheck. A competent employer can help you throughout every step of the wage claim lawsuit, and you’ll be awarded the money you should have received in the first place for both the regular hours as well overtime hours. Your compensation will include the difference between the wages to which you were entitled and the low wages you received.
- Accrued Interest: Apart from the wages you’re entitled to receive, it may be within your right to collect interest on your unpaid wages. Every state has set its own unpaid wages interest rate. Depending on your state, you may instead receive a large sum called “liquidated damages.” Again, each state has set its own amount and given to employees instead of interest.
- Further Penalties: Many states also punish employers who break the wage laws and add an additional penalty in addition to the unpaid wages, and interest. In the state of California, employers must pay a “waiting time” penalty for unpaid wages. This waiting time penalty is the equal to 30 days’ wages for the employee.
What Can I Do If My Employer Withheld Wages?
If your employer has broken the law and withheld wages from your paycheck, your first step may be to fix the issue internally, i.e., bring up the issue with H.R. or your boss directly. More often than not, unpaid wages are the result of a human error and are rectified quickly as to avoid a lawsuit.
If, however, your employer believes your wages to be correct, your next move is to talk to an employment lawyer who has experience in wage and hour cases. In most states, employees have the right to pursue the wages they are owed through the state’s labor department by simply filing a wage claim with this department. This step, however, is not mandatory. If employees want to take their employer directly to court, they have that option, too. A qualified employment lawyer will tell you if it makes financial sense to pursue your wages in court, or not.
The California Employment Attorneys Group has qualified lawyers who deal with wage claims on a consistent basis and so they have the experience necessary to get you every penny that you are rightfully owed. When you call our law firm, you can speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your case. It’s a free consultation wherein our lawyers will listen and give you their initial thoughts and answer any question you may have about your rights and wages. We also offer the zero-fee guarantee, which is our promise to you that you will not pay for our services from the very first day until the very last, unless we can prove your case and get back the wages you deserve. If you believe that LAUSD has illegally withheld wages from you, give us a call today to see what we can do for you.