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Former workers accuse startup of unpaid overtime

With the holidays rapidly approaching, many residents of L.A. may be working overtime this month in order to save-up for gifts and festivities. Some may be eyeing opportunities for overtime after the New Year in order to pay down their credit card debt and other recent holiday expenses. In any event, overtime is meant to result in more money for the worker, which is why the worker is putting in the extra hours in the first place.

If an employer does not properly compensate their hardworking employees, they may find themselves in legal trouble over unpaid overtime claims. Some local small business owners may use the startup Zenefits, which provides human resources software. The company, though, has recently gotten in trouble over claims that it hasn't properly paid employees for overtime. Zenefits is also accused of failing to pay workers for their unused paid time off.

Some former Zenefits employees have filed unpaid wages claims against the startup with the California Department of Industrial Relations. Some others have received payouts from the company for signing a waiver that prevents them from suing the company in the future over unpaid wages. According to a spokesman for the company, there was a mistake in the company handbook that contributed to the wage and hour disputes. According to media reports, the startup has found it challenging to retain employees and keep worker morale high.

Some former Zenefits workers claim they were at times forced to go without lunch breaks and work late into the night, among other accusations. Companies that commit wage and hour violations in defiance of California law can be held accountable. Workers who believe their employer has violated the law can schedule a consultation with a California wage and hour dispute attorney.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Zenefits tries to stem fallout over pay claims," Rolfe Winkler, Dec. 3, 2015

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

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