No employee wants to work for free. If employees worked for free they'd be called volunteers and not employees. Wage and hour laws in California not only require employers to pay their workers but they also require employers to pay employees overtime pay of at least time and half for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week. Unfortunately, not all employers adhere to these laws.
A recent class-action lawsuit alleged that a resort in Rancho Palos Verdes failed to appropriately pay employees. According to the lawsuit, the resort failed to pay employees for certain types of work and also falsified records in an attempt to avoid paying meal break penalties. The lawsuit said that workers were required to be at work before their shifts started to change into uniforms and were not paid for this time. Allegedly, workers were also not paid for the time spent being shuttled to the resort from parking areas, which the workers said added an hour or more to their work day.
Workers also alleged that they were forced to miss meal breaks and were to buy basic tools they needed for their jobs but were not reimbursed. Reportedly, the resort agreed to settle the lawsuit and pay out a total of $2.15 million to current and former employees. Apparently, the same resort was also at the center of a similar class-action lawsuit just a few years ago.
Fortunately, employment laws exist at the state and federal level to protect employees across the country. Workers in California who feel that they have been neglected by an employer may want to consider discussions with an employment law attorney. A successful wage and hour claim could result in the reimbursement of lost wages.