Severance pay is a benefit offered by some employers to involuntarily terminated employees. The amount of severance pay offered is usually based on the length of employment.
When an employee is supposed to receive their final paycheck from their employer is dependent on the state they live on and possibly on the nature of the separation. According to federal law, which establishes a minimum requirement, employers are required to issue a departing employee's final check on or before the next scheduled pay day.
People often call our office asking if they can open a wage claim for nonpayment of wages because their employer forced them to work on a federal holiday and did not pay them overtime or double-time rate for hours worked. Unfortunately, the answer is no.
On January 1, 2019, the minimum wage in California increased to $12 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $11 per hour for employees with 25 or fewer employees*.
First, know the basic rule, all work performed in excess of 40 hours in one week is considered overtime and must be paid at one and a half times (1.5x) your regular rate or pay. Let's say your pay is $15 an hour and you work 50 hours in one week, you should be paid $22.50 for any work performed over 40 hours in a week. Thus, you would be owed $600 in regular pay (40 hours x 15) and $225 in overtime pay (10 hours x $22.5).
The past few decades have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of jobs in once thriving industries. One particular sector that has not suffered this fate is the service industry. As jobs in other fields are disappearing with alarming frequency, service jobs have been growing steadily for quite some time. The problem, however, is that many of these jobs do not provide the worker with anything close to a living wage. In addition to the uncertainty and inconsistency in this field of work, the individual employees and their families suffer for this simple fact - the pay is too low.
One of the defining characteristics of the most recent recession has been the stagnancy of wages, including amongst temporary workers. Jobs are scarce and the ones that do exist are low paying with little opportunity for growth. A glaring example of this can be found in the frequency with which large corporations are turning to temporary workers and staffing agencies to fill their labor needs. In doing so, corporations are able to pay low wages for demanding work while also attempting to avoid liability for violations of workplace law. (Notably, temporary and staffing agencies often have joint employer liability with the company using the labor). Employee rights, it would seem, are once again ignored, circumvented, and dismissed in favor of corporate profits.
The United States Supreme Court will hear a wage and hour to decide whether time spent in security screenings is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act. The case is called Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk.