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Is my employer following the law ?

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  • Is my employer following the law ?

    I've worked at a gas station in the state of California for 8 years now. It's a franchise but our station is privately owned. I've work full time (40 hours a week) and get paid by the hour. I work 3pm to 11pm each night but am required to show up at 2:45 each day in which I am not paid for that 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes, I am counting inventory and verifing cash. We do not get a lunch or any breaks. My owner says that when there is no customers, that is considered our break. Occastionally we have mandatory meetings in which we are told we will be fired if we don't attend but are not paid for. So my questions are: is it illegal for him not to pay us for that 15 minutes each day ? If so, does he owe all of backpay ? Should he have to pay us for the mandatory meetings ? And is it legal for him not to give us breaks ?

  • #2
    Yes, he must pay you for the 15 minutes that he requires you to be there and work. He also must pay you for the meeting you are required to attend.

    CA also requires a break of 30 minutes for a meal if the employee works more than 5 hours. You must be releived of all duties. Expecting yo uot eat in between customers doesn't cut it. If your employer fails to do this the penalty to them is actually one hour of pay for you. You also get a 10 minute rest break for every 4 hours you work. Again, your employer owes you one extra hour of pay for each day you do not receive your breaks.

    You can file a claim with the state DOL to recover this money owed to you.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Getting backpay

      Thank you for the information. So are you saying he owes me backpay of one hour for each day I didn't recieve a 30min lunch and a additional hour for each day I didn't recieve a break ?

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      • #4
        That's what the law reads yes. You can get more info by calling the state DOL.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          I saw on another thread that the DOL can't handle cases that exceed 15K. Is that true ? The 8 years fulltime with no breaks or lunches plus 15min. of unpaid work is coming out to a pretty big number. Would I be better off with a attorney ?

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          • #6
            You may have to get an attorney anyway for at least some portion of it. The DLSE will only take claims for back pay as long as four years. Contact them first to find out if the fact that it is still continuing buys you any more time with them.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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