Alternative Workweeks Revisited
Folks call my office all the time asking about whether they are getting their wages stolen by their employer. I was asked recently about how alternative workweek schedule rules are interpreted in California. Someone had recently quit and asked me if he had an alternative workweek schedule class action case. Turns out - he has a great case. It was a great idea to call my office.
So I thought I would clarify them a tad in this article.
We are potentially talking BIG BUCKS
What you need to know going in is that if your employer is violating the rules for alternative work schedules in California - - you and your fellow employees could be owed a LOT of money. That’s right - we could be talking about a lot of money owed to you in unpaid overtime.
It’s All in the Rules
There are stringent rules regarding alternative workweek schedules for California employers.
First, the alternative workweek may not require you to work more than 10 hours of work per day or more than 40 hours of work in a workweek.
The employer must pay you overtime (one and one-half times the regular rate of pay) when you work between 10 and 12 hours. The employer must pay double time (twice the regular rate of pay) for all hours worked over 12 hours.
There are very specific rules in California for different industries regarding whether the employer has a valid alternative work place. Not all California IWC Orders provide for alternative workweek arrangements. Alternative workweeks are provided for in Wage Orders 1-13, 16 and 17.
There are very specific rules that must be followed in regards to the alternative work schedule in California. If any of the rules are not carefully followed - we are talking big bucks owed to you. Here are some of the basics:
- Must meet specific requirements in terms of proposing the schedule to the employee group, explaining the effects of the alternative workweek schedule.
- Must be conducted by a secret ballot.
- Must be a secret ballot election by at least a two-thirds vote of the affected employees in the work unit.
- The election results must be reported by the organization to the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) within 30 days of finalizing the results.
Were the election results reported to DLSE?
If you want to find out if the election was validly reported to the California DLSE - go here: DLSE Alternative Work Schedule Data Base.
If you don't find your employer on this data base and they have an alternative work schedule - you probably have a great case. And even if they are on this data base - if they didn't follow all the rules carefully, you may also have a great case.
The Bottom Line
So here is the bottom line: if you have any question whether you current or former employer has a valid California workweek schedule - - contact a seasoned California wage and hour class action lawyer.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley