The California Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could impact the ability of undocumented workers to collect back wages or sue employers for discrimination in California, and may prove instructive in other courts that periodically have to tackle these issues. The case is Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co. (Case No. S196568
With the federal government’s partial shutdown in its third day, many federal agency operations have been affected. Among them, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suspended its E-Verify service until Congress reaches an agreement to restore funding. Importantly, although E-Verify is temporarily not operating, employers must still properly and timely complete Form I-9 for…
Is Groupon’s June 3 announcement of its intent to launch an IPO a sign of another looming “tech bubble” or an “entrepreneurial renaissance”? Either way, entrepreneurs seeking to ride the next wave of technological innovation must be aware of the significant personal risks arising from failing to comply with wage and hour laws.
Can’t pay your suppliers or rent on the swanky new office space you rented to impress potential venture capital investors? If the business fails, at least the budding entrepreneur might be able to avoid or limit personal liability for these unpaid debts. Not so for unpaid wages owed to employees.
Despite the tremendous amount of federal and state law governing the employment relationship, a business that follows the following core values can avoid significant liability under most labor and employment laws:
- Follow the golden rule
- Don’t make employment decisions for reasons that are not related to the employee’s ability to do the job such as race, age, disability or sex
- Employees have a right to band together to demand better treatment and higher wages from their employer
- Provide a safe working environment
But Wage and Hour Law is Different!
Unlike most employment laws, which give employers and employees a fair amount of flexibility to come up with mutually beneficial and fair employment relationships, the FLSA and state wage and hour laws set out a strict rules which usually cannot be altered even if doing so would be best for both the employer and employee.