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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I) I am a chauffeur for a local transportation company. I

Customer Question

I) I am a chauffeur for a local transportation company. I pick clients up from homes, businesses or airports and deliver them to their destinations. I have spoken with several drivers from other companies who are "on the clock" from the time they check into work, until they check out to go home. They are not only paid for their "wait time" (airplane arrivals), but are paid for any overtime.

My company pays drivers for each ride, and a built-in gratuity for the ride (unless the client is required to sign a credit card receipt and include a gratuity at that time). We are not paid for anything else. I can't help but feel that our drivers are not being compensated fairly.

II) I just found out today (after working at this job for 16 months) that I won't get vacation pay for 2012 because I earned below the minimum that the company has determined a driver should earn in order to get vation pay.

I would really appreciate your feedback regarding these isssues in order to know if I have any rights under current California labor law. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Under CA employment law, your employer may pay you piece rate for he job that you do. However, under no circumstances may your wages be less than minimum wage for the first 8 hours in a day, and overtime for all hours above 8 in a day, 40 in a week 0r for work on the 7th day of the workweek if you worked all 7 days in a workweek.

Your company's drivers may well not be being treated fairly, based on what other companies are paying their employees, but so long that, in a given pay period, you earn wages equal to at least minimum wage or higher based on the number of hours you actually worked, then no law is being broken by the employer, and you would have no independent legal remedy.

Your hours start when you check into work, and end when you check out. if you employer is no maintaining your hours religiously, then they are clearly violating CA labor law and should be reported to the CA Department of Labor.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you need any clarification of my answer.


Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed, so that I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. I will be happy to continue further, and to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Doug,


Since I am only paid on each ride and gratuity, and not paid for each hour I work (although I have to check in and check out), I must conclude from your paragraph three, that my company is breaking CA labor law. Am I correct in my conclusion?


 


Also, the issue of vacation pay was not addressed. I was never made aware of the fact that the company could choose not to grant me vacation pay if I had not earned a specific minimum salary for the year which had been set by said company. Your advise on this topic?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good evening Ray,

You asked: Since I am only paid on each ride and gratuity, and not paid for each hour I work (although I have to check in and check out), I must conclude from your paragraph three, that my company is breaking CA labor law. Am I correct in my conclusion? No, I'm sorry for any misunderstanding. I am saying that if you work 85 hours in a pay period, and the wages you are paid based on the way your employer calculates them equal AT LEAST what you would earn if you were paid minimum wage under CA law, then no law is being violated with regard to your wages.

If your employer is NOT keeping track of the hours you work and checking them against your wages---then they are violating the law.

Vacation pay under CA law is not required, and a company may choose to set requirements for vacation eligibility. They could say that no one working less than 40 hours a week is entitled to vacation, or that no employee generating less than $3,000 per week, on average, in charges is excluded.

Under CA law, the employer may set a minimum earnings threshold for the awarding of vacation, and that policy, so long as it is equally enforced, would be legal.


I wish you the best in 2013.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.

Thank you,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and 3 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Ray. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (8-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

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