Keeping your records current – Whose Job is it?  Oh, right!  It’s your Employer’s!

We get calls about this kind of situation from time to time.  “I’ve been checking my records, and I don’t think I’m getting paid for all the time I worked.  We don’t get paper statements anymore.  But when I try to get my records, going back the last few years, my boss says they no longer exist.”

In California, employers have to keep such records for up to three years after an employee has stopped working at the company.  So if you’ve been working there 4 years, they should have those records.

Suppose, for example, you worked 9 hours in a day, but were only paid for 8.  That would be 1 hour of overtime you were owed for that day, and every day it happened.  In a 5-day week, that would be 5 hours of overtime unpaid.  Overtime pay accrues at 1.5 times the regular rate.  At time and a half – the equivalent of 7.5 hours in a 5-day week -that would almost be the equivalent of missing a full day’s work.

Said somewhat differently, if that went on for a year, you would be shorted about 350 hours’ time – over two month’s time!

Have you been watching your time?  Do you think some time is missing and hasn’t been paid, and you’ve asked for records, but they never show up?  Maybe you should give us a call at either 818-547-5200 or 626-795-0205.  Or you can email us at

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for working.

Working at home – But Not Paid for Required Training?  

Many people have been working from home during the past 3-4 years.  Perhaps you’re one of them.  Now, however, you may be asked or told you have to return to a work location, a warehouse, a design center, or an office.

Whether you’re working at home or away from home, keep this in mind.  If your employer requires you to undergo training as part of your job, it is probably required to pay you for that time.

What if this happens?  You’re put on a strict schedule, 8-5, say.  You have to get the work done.

You’re scrambling to beat the clock.  So you have to get your training done outside scheduled hours.

If that’s your situation, you may not only be owed unpaid wages –  those wages may be at overtime rates.  You may further be entitled to a penalty for not being paid timely.

Need to hear more?  If any of these things apply to you or your family members, colleagues or friends, call 626-795-0205 or 818-547-5200.  We’ll be glad to talk with you and them.

Or feel free to email us at with any questions.  Thanks for maybe even passing this on to others.  If any of this applies, we hope to hear from you soon.

Retaliation – Here’s How it Can Make Its Ugly Self Known; Even Better, Here’s How to Respond …

Suppose you’ve been working at a job as a pharmacist for several years and get promoted and feel you’re doing great.  You’re doing so great that your employer wants you to work more, because you create so much output.

But you complain.  You aren’t getting paid overtime.  You aren’t getting any rest breaks or meal breaks.  You don’t get paid for those.  You even have to do your training at home, and not get paid for that, either.

It gets worse.  You’re supposed to have Pharmacist Technicians to help you.  But the store manager ‘takes’ those employees and has them work outside the pharmacy, around the store, so to speak.  So you complain about that as well.  Because customers with prescriptions are getting short-changed.

It gets worse.  Management’s unhappiness with your complaints results in your managers trying to dig up dirt and criticisms on you – to cast you in a bad light.  Why?  So they can have the unfair write-ups to fire you for pretextual reasons.

Maybe it even gets worse.  Some employees begin to harass you, and complain of gender or false allegations of poor work, or national origin.  So what do you do?

Maybe you, as a pharmacist or truck driver or cashier or whatever your job might be complain to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) and get a “Right-to-Sue” notice.

There are cases like that.  Where pharmacists are retaliated against unfairly.  So now, in a sort of “What goes around, comes around,” kind of way,  that pharmacist or you or your friend or family member can ‘retaliate’ back.

Has any of this happened to you?  Have you been fired unfairly?  Why don’t you give us a call at 818-547-5200 or 626-795-0205.  Or Email us at

We’ll be glad to hear from you.

Can’t Take Lunch? Could that be an Hour’s Pay in that Brown Bag?

Chances are, if you work at 8-hour day, you’re schedule a meal break of 30 minutes or more. You’re entitled to 30 minutes. If your employer doesn’t do that, you’re owed an hour’s wage.

I’ve talked to LOTS of people who are scheduled a break, but have to eat a sandwich or take-out lunch while still working. Driving, for instance.

Just last month, the California Supreme Court ruled that employers are not permitted to “round” meal break punches if the employee didn’t work the full 30 minutes. AND, if your employer’s timesheets, timeclock records, etc., show that the full 30 minutes aren’t recorded, THAT’s a meal break violation. (You can only get one hours a pay if that happens, however, but it’s still an hour’s pay. Does the employer have a defense? It has to prove the employee could have taken that break but decided to not do so. The burden is on the employer!

Remember: most of the time employers have to provide their employees with that 30 minute uninterrupted meal break after the first 5 hours of work. (What does ‘uninterrupted’ mean? It means very slight – 1 or 2 minutes, say – interruptions are okay; but not for any extended period of interruption to do work.)

Are you forced to miss meal breaks once in a while, often, or always? Keep track! It can add up, for the prior three years!

Want to learn more? Call us at 818-547-5200 or 626-795-0205.

Or email us at

You’re About to Quit? Think Before you leap!!

You usually leave a job for one of two reasons. Either you choose to do so, or the choice is made by someone else.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t quit.  On the contrary, if you’re thinking of it, that’s probably the right choice.  But you should be sure to think about these four factors before you do so.

Decide Now to Give Enough Notice – 2 weeks at least would be a good idea.

Why?  First, give enough notice so your boss/company doesn’t get mad at your leaving them hanging.  No, they probably won’t say anything bad about you after you leave. But they might think about you, and one day act in a way that comes back to bite you.

Here’s the problem, however.  If you give 2 weeks’ notice, your employer might say, “There’s the door – go for it.”  You could be left out in the cold or heat sooner than you thought. So have those two weeks all planned out, just in case you’re on an unexpected two-week or so holiday.

When you do pull the plug, keep this in mind – at least until you’re out the door – “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  That includes not suggesting that your new job is soooo much better than your last.

Should you give notice In Person?

Usually the answer would be in the affirmative.  But if there’s any chance your boss might want to submarine your good efforts, perhaps writing a nice email to your manager and his/her superiors, giving that notice, and thanking them for your employment might be a better idea.  Up to you.

Why does this matter?

Here’s one reason.  What happens if your new company is bought by your previous employer?  Don’t think it’s happened? It does. It’s happened to my clients. Do you remember Sav-on?  It’s no longer around because it was bought by CVS, for example.

What about your Employment Records, your earnings statements, time-sheets, etc.?

I recommend you always keep them for up to 7 years back.  I don’t say that for tax purposes. I say that because you might be part of a class action and not know it.  What if you’re leaving because you’re overworked and underpaid? Your keeping those records might help you collect at least some portion of that back pay one day. You might even call our office to discuss it.

Hope this helps. Good luck on your new job.


Fired Because You Got Married?? And Were Happy Being So???!!!

Has this happened to you?  Do you think it is now, or wondering if it’s about to pop?

You’ve taken it for the team – your job – week after week, month after month, year after year.  That means something, doesn’t it?  It should, shouldn’t it?

Then along the path of life comes that spouse you always dreamed would head your way.  You get married!  Now you want to spend time with her/him instead of all your time being married to the job.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?

But what’s this?  Your boss doesn’t like the new you?  Likes your new husband/wife even less?  Makes no bones about the fact that the company is not pleased with you not being there day-in, day-out, 7 days a week?  Even threatens you?  Writes you up?  Puts you on a 90 day review?  Fires you???!!!!!

Has this happened to you or someone you know?  In California, an employer can’t intentionally decide to interfere with one’s marriage for the benefit of the company.  That’s called “marital status discrimination”.  So if your honeymoon has been put on a forced time off because of your boss’s jealousy – her discrimination – at your actually having a life?  Call us.  You probably need more than a marriage counselor.

Commissions – Is Your Employer Reducing Yours?

Here are 3 ways you might be losing wages you’re due.

A commission employment agreement may require an employee’s commission to be reduced by costs that are directly related to the sale, for shipping the item, perhaps, the cost of the product being sold, or the cost of free products offered by the salesperson to induce the sale. BUT … An employer cannot make deductions for things not even remotely related to the sale. So, for example, an employer may not deduct the cost of the business’s electricity or the business’s general overhead from the employee’s commission.

Here’s another trick. You’ve made the sale. However, the client hasn’t yet paid for the sale, and suddenly your “position has been eliminated”. And, “By the way, as a result of your no longer being employee here, you don’t get that commission.” If you had done everything needed to accomplish that sale, and the customer made the purchase, you should think about seeking legal counsel.

A third means of denying you a commission? Has this happened to you? You make the sale. The customer buys it and pays for it. But then your employer says, because other sales fell through that were made before you went to work for the company and which are in your sales division, you don’t get paid for that commission.

Any of that sound all too familiar? Maybe you should call a lawyer to see if you can collect on these commissions after all. We’d be glad to talk with you. Write me at or call us at 626-795-0205. You can also learn more about various legal issues and cases we’ve filed by going to

Thanks very much.

High Turnover – What That Might Mean For You

Have you changed jobs recently, and noticed that some of the people you worked with aren’t there any more? Turnover like that can often occur in large employment settings, such as amusement parks, for example.

People no longer working there usually has to mean one of two things. Either they quit, or were let go. Of course they might have been injured on the job, but when people find they are suddenly the ‘old-timer’, after having worked there for less than a year, that fact should make them consider just how much longer they might be employed in that position.

Maybe the reason for the high turnover is the employer’s attitude toward its employees. Are you now working where your employer keeps demanding you get more work done, even when you do everything you’re asked, and suddenly you’re told you’re wasting time by not doing much more? One tactic of some employers is to put ever-increasing demands on the employee’s time, and thus forcing them to miss the breaks to which they are entitled.

The most incredible part of that problem is that the employer probably has a policy saying the employee must take breaks. Its handbook may well say that the employee will not get in trouble for complaining of the inability to take breaks. It might even have the employee sign something saying they know that the company does not want them to work through breaks – when they know just the opposite is true.

What can you do about that? Here’s what you might do.

When that day comes when you’re either told to leave or choose to do so, ask for the company to pay you for the breaks you missed and any other time, e.g., overtime, you’re due. They may point out the document you signed and ask why you didn’t complain or take the breaks. If you were forced to sign that, especially by someone who knew you were missing your breaks, say that.

You may not get paid for those missed breaks, but you can still seek to have your rights vindicated in a court of law.

They Want Your Phone? So Your Car Can Do What?

Has this happened to you?  Have you bought a car recently, and you were asked to allow them to put an app on your phone?  Maybe you were told the app would be great for you, so you can unlock it from your phone.

First of all, why would you want to do that? Wouldn’t you be a little worried that you might activate the app accidentally, and unlock your car by mistake?

Not only that, but guess what you will probably get with that gift?  Free boxes of cookies, dozens of them!  A Bake Sale!  Of the kind that will track you wherever you go.  You know the type, the ones that ask you, “How did you like shopping at NeverGoingThereAgainStore?”  Or, “How would your rate LatestCrummySequelEver?”

Why would this happen at all?  Maybe because employees are now being pushed to get you to have apps on your phone that will force you to get ads you never wanted.  Isn’t television bad enough?  Direct TV?  Streaming?  Cabling?  The Next Big Thing?

Or are you one of those employees now being required to force this on your customers?  Whether it’s for a car or a television, a boat or a tractor?  Are your commissions being cut if you don’t ‘sell’ these apps?  Know anyone who’s been fired because they didn’t want to stick the customer with another pain in the butt – where they park their phone?

If you’re a customer, or if you’re the salesperson, and you’re unhappy about this, perhaps something can be done.  Try emailing us at  Or call 626-795-0205.

You’re accused of theft or worse! Not True? Here’s what to do!

Let’s say the following happens:

  1. You’re accused of having stolen something. Or …
  2. You failed to lock a door, a window, a safe, and money, drugs, product were stolen. Or …
  3. You harassed someone in full view of everyone. Or …
  4. You broke a serious company rule! How could you?? Or …
  5. The time you put down was wrong. You didn’t get to work on time, or you left early.

Chances are, if the accusation is strong enough, you’ll be told to leave that very day, and given a final check.

NOTE: Before you do what we suggest, you should probably wait you get your final check. Remember, you don’t have to sign any release to get that check. If you’re owed wages, you’re owed wages. In California, they have to pay you right then. You don’t have to admit any wrongdoing to get that check, either.

BUT … If what your boss, your manager, your supervisor or HR said is simply not true, here’s what you might considering doing.

(Once you are paid.) Think if there might be a company video or audio recordings that would show what actually happened. If so, then do this: In writing, an email would be best, say you want to see them.

Also, say, if you believe it, that those tapes would prove you were not at fault and you want to review them right away. AND, be sure to ask your employer that those tapes be saved, and ask for copies of them as well.

The company may well say they don’t have to give you those tapes. Or they may not answer you at all. But if they do exist, your employer may now be on the hook. Your employer might have a serious problem if those tapes favor your position, because you asked for them, and they didn’t want to provide them.

If that happens? Maybe you’d want to call a law firm that represents employees who are wrongly let go – fired – terminated – tossed out.

Feel free to call us at 626-795-0205. Or write us at