Wage & Hour Defense

San Jose Attorneys Protecting the Interests of Employers

Wage and Hour Dispute

There are many laws with which employers must comply, include wage and hour laws. California employers can face wage and hour litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or state law. Claims may involve allegations of employer misclassification of employees as exempt employees or as independent contractors, or allegations of encouraging employees to work off the clock. However, many of these claims are unsubstantiated and should not expose an employer to liability. At SAC Attorneys, our San Jose wage and hour defense lawyers provide strong, tough defenses to employers.

The Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Labor Code

California workplaces are highly regulated. The FLSA sets standards for minimum wage and overtime pay for non-exempt employees. It is interpreted by the Department of Labor (DOL). The California Labor Code and Wage Orders promulgated by the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) also provide rights under which employees can assert wage and hour claims. There are 17 wage orders, and they establish working conditions and minimum wages for 13 industries, three occupations, and various employees.

When federal and state laws are conflicting, employers are supposed to abide by the law that provides better conditions for employees. If you are faced with an employee who claims a wage and hour violation, it is important not to take adverse measures against him or her. Retaliation is prohibited under both federal and state laws.

Certain employees are exempt from wage and hour laws. Certain professional, administrative, and executive employees who receive salaries can be exempt from the FLSA or the California Labor Code. However, this is a tricky area, and you may want to ask a wage and hour defense attorney in San Jose if you are uncertain. Each exemption has highly specific requirements, and these can interact differently with different employees, based on their job duties and other factors. Simply being paid a salary does not automatically mean that an employee is exempt.

California law is more stringent than federal law. California wage and hour law is interpreted and enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Issues that may arise under wage and hour law include employee misclassification, record keeping claims, meal and rest breaks, waiting time, time rounding, and itemized wage statements. Either the DOL or the DLSE can prosecute employee claims, and they also can audit your wage and hour practices. If you are determined to have failed to comply with the law, you can face damages, fines, and penalties.

Wage and Hour Defense

Employers have a heavy burden of compliance with many different laws, and sometimes compliance becomes complicated. Employees may claim that they are non-exempt employees when employers believed that they were independent contractors or exempt employees. Sometimes employees claim that they were encouraged to work off the clock and not paid overtime. Our San Jose wage and hour defense attorneys can investigate the circumstances giving rise to these assertions.

Employees have three years from the date of the most recent violation that they allege occurred to bring a California wage and hour claim. Sometimes, wage and hour defense entails raising the statute of limitations as a procedural bar.


You may face hefty damages awards for wage and hour violations. Employees can collect unpaid amounts of minimum wage or overtime, as well as their reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. When they are not paid minimum wage, and this is ruled to not be a good-faith error, they may be able to get liquidated damages. If an employee shows that the employer failed to provide meal or rest breaks, they can recover an hour’s pay for each break that they did not get.

Retain an Employment Defense Attorney

Employees’ wage and hour claims can present a great risk for employers. If you are faced with a claim, you should consult our seasoned wage and hour defense lawyers in San Jose. We represent clients throughout Silicon Valley. Call (408) 436-0789 or complete our online form.

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