California residents may be aware that Oakland increased the minimum wage in the city to $12.25 per hour on March 1. The decision was prompted by widespread public support and it followed similar moves in San Francisco and Seattle. Small business owners are among the most vocal opponents of increasing the minimum wage, and 223 Oakland entrepreneurs have answered questions from the Employment Policies Institute about how the $12.25 hourly rate has impacted their businesses.
Wages can be a significant concern to those starting a new job, especially if there seems to be a discrepancy between the wage that is paid and the state laws. Workers in California are affected by both state and federal guidelines, and the more strict of the two laws applies in any given situation. This means that the law that provides more of a benefit to the employee is to be used.
On Dec. 17, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that dozens of caregivers in California would be paid a combined total of $637,048 for minimum and overtime back wages and liquidated damages. According to a federal investigation, the 24 Filipino workers received less than $5 an hour despite working 11-hour days, five or six days a week.
On Aug. 24, the Oakland Raiders and its cheerleading squad, the Raiderettes, came to an agreement on a wage dispute. The squad claims that the team violated California wage and hour law by failing to pay minimum wage during the four football seasons from 2010 to 2013. The Raiders will pay approximately $6,000 for each year cheerleaders worked from 2010 to 2012. The Raiderettes received a pay increase in 2013, but were still underpaid, so they will receive around $2,500 each for that season.
California workers may be interested in the legal success of one group of employees who are fighting court battles for past overtime pay. Thousands of employees are claiming that they were incorrectly classified by their former employer.
The latest news of the U.S. economy finally regaining the jobs lost through the recession is a promising reminder that the economy is back on track. However, it appears that many employers are still not following federal law when it comes to properly compensating employees. The number of wage and hour lawsuits being brought by employees has risen over the last year, and the number of suits appears to be growing at a record pace.
New York Jets cheerleaders filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL team alleging violations of New Jersey wage and hour laws. The suit was ostensibly filed in New Jersey since that is where MetLife Stadium is located, where team plays its home games. The named plaintiff in the suit, named Krystal C, claims that the Jets paid her and other cheerleaders far below New Jersey's required minimum wage of $8.25 per hour.
The Oakland Raiders cheerleading squad as brought a lawsuit against the professional football organization concerning a wage dispute. Even though the U.S. Labor Department has stated that the Oakland Raiders were exempt from federal wage laws due to the team being a "seasonal" operation, the cheerleaders are still pursuing this lawsuit under California regulations.
By 2016, the minimum wage in California is set to raise to $10.10 an hour. However, many believe it's simply not enough to prevent a drain on the resources of the state and federal government. According to a study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, 25 percent of the country's workforce is on some sort of state or federal assistance program. For fast-food workers' families, it's 50 percent - more than twice the national average.
A group of California restaurant employees have been awarded $1.6 million in unpaid wages by the state's labor commissioner. The 47 restaurant workers were employed at Walter Café and Ruen Tong Thai Cuisine in Ukiah, both owned by the same two co-owners. Following an investigation, the restaurateurs were found to be both jointly and individually liable for the wage theft. They were ordered to reimburse the unpaid overtime to employees and pay civil penalties totaling $189,250.