Online shopping has created a boom in the warehousing and distribution industry, with retailers employing over 100,000 workers in Southern California alone. From Los Angeles, to San Bernardino to Riverside to San Diego to the Bay Area - California warehouse and distribution centers are booming. Unfortunately, so to is wage theft and unpaid wages. Based upon what we see many of these companies are violating California's strict wage laws.
Employees who complete orders and load trucks in warehouses, distribution centers and fulfillment centers may not realize that they are the victims of state labor and wage violations—and those who do may not be able to afford a lawyer. Fortunately, a large workforce makes many of these employees qualified to file a class action lawsuit to recover back wages, lost overtime, and other damages.
In this article, our California warehouse and distribution center unpaid wages class action lawyers answer the following questions:
Why is Bill asked to testify concerning wage law legislation at the California State Senate and the California Assembly?
What are the wage laws for warehouse workers in California?
If you work in a warehouse or distribution center in California, you need to know the wage laws for warehouse workers in California. California warehouse workers and distribution center workers are covered by two sets of laws in regards to their wages, hours and working conditions. First, the California Labor Code. Second, California Wage Order 9-2001 - for Transportation workers.
What should I do if I there are multiple employers at the California warehouse where I work?
In other words, What if there are multiple employers involved in warehouse worker wage theft?
It can cost companies millions to adhere to California’s strict overtime and meal break laws and rest break laws, and many distribution center companies simply don't follow California's wage laws. Based upon what we see, this happens a lot. Meaning, that if you work in a distribution center in California, you are probably not getting all the wages that you are owed.
In the case of distribution centers, many retailers partner with warehouse owners and third-party staffing companies that are put in charge of the workers. This allows large companies to try and avoid liability for employee mistreatment while directly profiting off of harsh working conditions and low worker pay. And they have sub-contractors working at the warehouse and/or distribution center.
How do California wage laws protect me if I work in a warehouse, distribution center and/or fulfillment center?
You can bring an unpaid wages case against the staffing company, the warehouse / distribution center operator, the sub-contracting company and/or the contracting company. Basically, California law allows you to bring an unpaid wages claim against any person or company that controls your wages, hours and/or working conditions.
Why is Bill asked to testify concerning
wage law legislation at the California State Senate
and the California Assembly?
A No B.S. straight-shooter lawyer
Believe it or not, Bill Turley is known for being a no B.S. straight-up lawyer. Besides being known as one of the leading experts on this area of the law in California, one of the reasons why Bill is asked to testify at legislature hearings is because he is known for being straightforward and blunt. He is known for being no B.S., with no lawyer-talk, no double-talk.
What are common labor code wage violations for California Logistics and distribution center employees?
- Not paying for all time worked: Distribution center companies regularly don't pay for all hours, that you are under the control of the company. For example, if you have to wait in a security line either going into or out of the distribution center, then you are under the control of the company. You must be paid for this time. Even if this is only a few minutes a day, this will give rise to significant paycheck stub violations and waiting time penalties. This is just one example, we see many instances of employees not getting paid for all time they are under the control of the company. This is why you should get a free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis.
- Not paying for all overtime worked: If you are working 8 hours a day and/or 40 hours a week (or more) and the company is not paying for all the time that you worked and you will be entitled to overtime wages. Another example is when employees may be shuffled between staffing companies in the course of their monthly schedule, allowing the employer to avoid paying overtime. In addition, employees often work 12-hour shifts without receiving additional breaks or double-time pay.
- Meal breaks: If you are having to wait in a security line while you are on a meal break, then under California law, you are not only not getting paid for all time worked, but you are also probably entitled to an hour's pay because you didn't receive a legally compliant meal period.
- Rest breaks: Once we do a free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis, we usually see that distribution center workers are not receiving legally compliant rest breaks. This happens more often than not for distribution center workers. You are also probably entitled to an hour's pay because you didn't receive a legally compliant rest break.
- Bonus and wage calculations: Under California law, the amount of a performance bonus must be included in the calculation of time-and-a-half pay for overtime. Hourly warehouse employees are typically offered bonuses as an incentive, but these bonuses are left out of overtime calculations.
- Rounding: Some employers have been accused of timecard “rounding,” paying workers to the nearest 6 minutes or 15 minutes or even half-hour of their actual clock-in time. When a company rounds such that workers are getting cheated, then it is illegal under California law.
- Pay stub violations: When employers fail to pay for all time worked, don't pay all overtime pay, and/or have meal period violations and/or rest break violations then you will also see pay stub or paycheck violations under California law. You may be entitled to up to $4,000 for this alone.
- Waiting time penalties: When companies don't pay for all time worked, don't pay all wages owed - see all of the above - then workers are probably owed waiting time penalties for these wages when they are paid at time of termination (which they never are, it seems). This is 30 days wages, so this also really adds up for most workers.
- Posting and compliance violations: Many warehouse workers have reported that they never received employment handbooks or manuals informing them of their rights under state and federal laws. Others have attested that mandatory signage posted in the workplace was in English only, of little benefit to a Spanish-speaking workforce.
- Off-the-clock work: Employers may attempt to avoid break and overtime violations by requiring workers to perform certain tasks before clocking in for a shift or after they have clocked out for the day.
- Security lines: If you have to wait in a security line - either going into work or leaving work - and you're not getting paid for that time, then you are owed wages. Under California law, this is illegal.
- Threats and intimidation: Many warehouse employees who complain about wage violations or working conditions are threatened, harassed, or fired by employers. Common intimidation tactics include threats of deportation, docking pay, or withholding pay from female workers who do not comply with sexual advances.
If you and your fellow employees have been denied rest breaks or suffered unfair pay deductions, you may be eligible to form a class action to recover unpaid wages, interest, and penalties.
This is all based upon California Supreme Court cases that we worked on
Many folks say that the most important California Supreme Court case for workers' wage rights is the Brinker vs. Superior Court case. We represented the workers in the Brinker case.
In the Brinker case, the California Supreme Court has characterized that the purpose of the Labor Code and the IWC wage orders that cover employees, is the protection of employees. Particularly given the extent of legislative concern about working conditions, wages, and hours when the Legislature enacted key portions of the Labor Code. We saw this with the groundbreaking California Supreme Court Brinker case - that we represented the workers in - that provided meal period and rest period rights to California workers.
We saw this in the recent Augustus vs. ABM case, where the Supreme Court - in effect - said, “All those rights that we said applied to meal breaks and implied applied to rest breaks for California workers, well we meant every word of it and yes, they also apply to rest breaks.” At least that is my take on the Augustus Supreme Court decision. And it is exactly what I wrote in the Supreme Court brief that I submitted in the Augustus case.
What makes this all worthwhile - when employees receive their checks for unpaid wages!
"What can I do?"
Call us at 619-304-1000 - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.
Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new wage case" in your text.
Or leave us a message on this web page
What are California warehouses and warehouse companies that you are currently investigating?
Here are some of the California warehouses and warehouse companies that we are currently investigating:
Uline - Los Angeles (Ontario, CA) Uline - privately held shipping company.
Uline California Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: Meal break violations, rest break violations, unpaid security time, not paying for all time worked, pay stub violations, waiting time penalties.
Burlington Coat - meal breaks, rest breaks, not getting paid for long waits in security lines. pay stubs, waiting time penalties.
Pier 1 Imports Distribution Center: (Ontario, CA) - - Pier 1 Imports - Distribution: distribution center for furniture chain.
Pier 1 Imports California Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: Not paying for all time worked, meal break, rest periods, paycheck stub violations, waiting time penalty, not paying wages timely, PAGA violations.
Frontier Logistics: (Compton, Gardenia, Ontario) - - Frontier Logistics - Full service freight forwarding, transportation and supply chain provided. Headquarters - Compton, California.
Frontier Logistics - Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: Not paying for all time worked, meal break, rest periods, paycheck stub violations, waiting time penalty, not paying wages timely.
Smart Warehousing (2 locations in Ontario) - Smart Warehousing - Supply chain services/ fulfillment.
Smart Warehousing California Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: PAGA violations, meal break violations, rest break violations, not paying for all time employees worked, security line time, paycheck stubs, waiting time penalties.
Saddle Creek Corp. Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: not paying wages timely, paystub violations, meal breaks, rest breaks, failure to pay for all time employees worked, waiting time penalties.
TRG Fulfillment Warehouse/ The Regan Group (Torrance, Los Angeles) - TRG Fulfillment Warehouse - logistics, ecommerce, order fulfillment, shipping, warehousing, storage.
TRG Fulfillment Warehouse Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: Not paying for all time worked, meal break, rest periods, paycheck stub violations, waiting time penalty, not paying wages timely, PAGA violations.
SEKO Logistics/ SEKO Worldwide (West Sacramento, Union City, Chino, Carson, San Diego, Costa Mesa) SEKO Logistics - supply chain, transportation, logistics, freight forwarding, warehousing.
SEKO Logistics California Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: - not paying for all time employees work, rest break, meal breaks, paystubs, waiting time penalties, PAGA violations, more.
NBC Transportation Warehouse ...North-Bay Container Corporation (Oakland) NBC Transportation Warehouse - warehousing, import, export, storage.
NBC Transportation Warehouse Unpaid Wages Class Action investigation: not paying wages timely, CA pay stub violations, meal breaks, rest breaks, failure to pay for all time employees worked, waiting time penalties.
What should I do if I work (or used to work) for one of these companies?
If you work - or used to work - for one of these companies in California, we would like to hear from you. You can help us with our investigation regarding unpaid wages.
If you are a current employee, you can speak to us in confidence.
We would like to hear your take. You can contact us in order to see if you may be entitled to significant money/ wages compensation and/or penalties for California Labor Code violations and/or California Wage Order violations.
Or send a message on this web page.
The go-to lawyer on PAGA
Recently when proposed Initiatives were filed that would have effectively ended PAGA in California, Bill was one of the lawyers that met with the California Secretary of State on the potential fiscal impact of the PAGA Initiatives. Bill also met with the California Attorney General’s office on the proposed Ballot language for the PAGA Initiatives. Due in part to Bill’s efforts, the PAGA initiatives were withdrawn.
We are not suggesting that Bill works for the California Secretary of State or the California Attorney General. But the fact that Bill was one of the few lawyers that was chosen to meet with them regarding the PAGA Initiatives is telling.
It’s our take that Bill was chosen to meet with them because Bill is seen as one of the leading attorneys in California that handles PAGA actions and Bill is known for being a straight-shooter.
Awarded the Superlawyer Award
Bill has been awarded the Superlawyer award for the last eight years.
Highest Avvo.com Rating
Bill has the highest Avvo.com lawyer rating.
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.