On behalf of Clark Law Group posted in wage and hour violations on Thursday, January 26, 2017.
Some companies come up with creative ways to avoid paying their employees. In the case of Vivint, Inc., there has been a practice of deliberately avoiding paying minimum wage to their employees. Other companies in the state of California may also take steps to avoid paying their workers a fair wage. Piece-rate payment is when an employer pays its workers based on the number of units they create, sell or install.
This means there must be a company standard for the amount paid for completing a task or making a component or product. Overtime payment rates may also apply in these employment scenarios. If you believe your employer is not adhering to the law, you may need the help of an experienced employment law attorney.
Piece-rate payment is legal only under certain conditions
Since Jan. 1, 2016, there has been a law in the state of California specifically addressing piece-rate payment. Its application varies across a number of industries. Piece-rate payment could include, for example, carpet layers whose payment varies depending on the number of yards of carpet they install. It could also apply to nurses, whose compensation may be based on each procedure performed or manufacturing workers who are paid for each component or product built.
The law also requires that workers who are paid on a piece-rate basis should be provided with rest periods/breaks and a meal break during their work hours. Workers should receive fair compensation for additional work which is not directly related to their piece-rate work. It is important to note that this law does not apply to workers whose payment depends on commission.
How piece-rate payment can violate the law
In addition to failing to pay workers overtime and providing inaccurate pay stubs, Vivint, Inc. also refused to compensate employees for business expenses. They failed to pay their workers or installers for long hours of work, including service calls, delivery of tools and equipment to worksites, and traveling to and from work sites. All of this provided the grounds for a victorious class action lawsuit against Vivint, Inc. If these work or payment situations sound similar, you may benefit from consulting with an experienced California employment law attorney.
An attorney can help you determine if laws were broken
Because piece-rate payment applies to such a broad range of industries, it can be difficult to determine if your employer has somehow violated California state law. Scheduling an initial consultation with an experienced employment law attorney is the best way to determine if your situation is actionable. It can be hard for a single worker, or even a group of workers, to take on their employer about unfair practices. Partnering with an attorney can increase the chances of success and can protect future workers for your employer from victimization as well.