How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq. , Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10720
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I work in the audio-visual field installing projectors, signal

Resolved Question:

I work in the audio-visual field installing projectors, signal processing equipment, screens, speakers and cabling in public works, prevailing wage jobs. By definition, does this classify me as a "Sound and Signal Technician" rather than "Soundman"?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Good morning and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I will do everything I can to assist you.

I think it would help me in answering your question if I understood why you believe your job classification to be significant. Are you a union member? Would an alternative classification entitle you to greater pay pursuant to an existing collective bargaining agreement?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello. No, I am not a union member. The difference between these classifications is important to me because, according to the current determinations published by the state of California, the total hourly rate for "Soundman" is $32.02 per hour while a "Sound and Signal Technician" earns $39.34. The contract under which we are working was awarded prior to the currently published determinations so I'm being paid $31.22 per hour as a "Soundman". If the pay rates for these crafts have ascended at the same rate, a Sound and Signal Technician should be paid around $38.36 per hour for work performed under that earlier contract. That's a 22.9% difference.


I have worked as a temporary employee for this company on and off since 2011, presumably at the "Soundman" rate. I think that it comes down to the definitions of these crafts. What differentiates a s

Soundman from a Sound and Signal Technician?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your clarification. I see now that this is a prevailing rate issue since you are working on a government contract.

That being the case, Labor Code § 1770 et seq. does mandate that you are paid the prevailing rate for your job classification.

If you believe that your employer misclassified you as a "soundman" when in fact your duties entitled you to classification as a "sound and signal technician," your recourse would be to file a complaint with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, which is presently charged with enforcing prevailing wage laws.

The DLSE will conduct an investigation into your classification to determine whether it is proper. Although you may be entitled to additional pay as a sound and signal technician, the rate of pay for such classification would be the rate published at the time the contract was awarded, not the rate presently in effect. (Labor Code § 1773.6) However, as this would still be more than your present rate as a soundman, it would likely be worth your effort to proceed forward with a DLSE claim.

To file a claim with the DLSE, visit this link: Regardless of the DLSE's determination, your employer will be legally prohibited from retaliating against you as a consequence of your complaint. Any such retaliation would give rise to an entirely separate claim for damages.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10720
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • LawTalk



    Satisfied Customers:

    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
< Last | Next >
  • LawTalk's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
  • Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • melissamesq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Attorney2020's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I have significant experience in employment law.
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Legal Counsel's Avatar

    Legal Counsel


    Satisfied Customers:

    California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.

Related California Employment Law Questions