Glossary of Employment Lawyer and Labor Board Terms
California Labor Code: Defines fair labor practices in California. A San Diego labor lawyer will refer to different sections of the code when prosecuting or defending an employer who has been accused of violating San Diego employment law.
Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB): Assists in determining whether an employee has been misclassified as a 1099 contractor.
Damages: If an employee takes an employer to court for misclassification as an independent contractor, denial of overtime pay, or denial of appropriate breaks, the employee may be awarded damages in addition to any back wages owed, depending on what his or her San Diego employment lawyer can negotiate.
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE): Penalizes employers who violate San Diego labor law if employees have lost overtime payment or other compensation due to misclassification as an independent contractor.
Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC): Enacts punishment on behalf of employees who have not been compensated for job-related injuries, as a result of misclassification as 1099 contractors. The DWC also assesses employers’ failure to pay for workers’ compensation insurance due to misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
Employment Development Department (EDD): Demands unpaid payroll taxes and insurance fees for a three year statute of limitations after an employer violates San Diego labor law and is charged with misclassification of employees as 1099 contractors.
Exempt Employees: Workers who are not entitled to overtime pay due to their specific job duties and salaries. If you are an employee and believe you have been misclassified as exempt, you are advised to consult a San Diego employment lawyer, as your employer may be violating San Diego labor law. If you are an employer and believe you are being wrongly accused of classifying an employee as exempt, a San Diego labor lawyer can defend you.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Allows employees to request time off for family matters. Independent contractors generally cannot benefit from the FMLA. However, if an employer has misclassified an employee as a private contractor and denied him or her leave, the employer may be liable under FMLA, as well as under violation of San Diego labor law, if the IRS reclassifies the worker in question as an employee.
Federal Wage and Hour Law (FLSA): Determines national minimum wage, as well as national guidelines for overtime compensation, both of which may be modified by state laws. The FLSA generally does not protect independent contractors. However, if the IRS reclassifies a 1099 contractor as an employee, and the employer is found guilty of violating wage standards or failing to pay the worker for overtime, the employer can be required to pay back wages and other penalties to the employee.
Government Accountability Office (GAO): Monitors government spending of taxes.
Independent Contractor: Synonymous to a 1099 contractor. An independent contractor is a person who works from home, on his or her own schedule, and does not play a regular or essential role in an office or business. If a person is consistently present at the work place, even part-time, and is told when, where, and how to work, he or she is not an independent contractor, and classifying a worker as such is a violation of San Diego labor law.
Labor Commissioner: The department that examines cases in which an employee accuses an employer of violating San Diego labor law. The Labor Commissioner may examine cases concerning unpaid overtime, denied breaks, stolen wages, employees misclassified as 1099 contractors, and more.
Labor and Workforce Development Agency: California agency responsible for overseeing businesses and employees. Employers who violate San Diego labor law by misclassifying employees as 1099 contractors must post a public notice on their company website advising employees to contact the LWDA if they feel that they too have been misclassified as an independent contractor.
Non-Exempt Employees: Workers who are guaranteed overtime payment by FLSA. Certain classifications of employees are guaranteed non-exempt status. Others must determine their status based on salary, as well as work responsibilities. Deducing whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt in the eyes of the law can be complicated, and is best determined by a San Diego labor lawyer.
On Duty Meal Break: Indicates that due to the nature of the work, it is highly difficult for an employee to shed all work-related responsibilities during a meal break. In this circumstance, an employee may choose to sign a document agreeing to take an on duty meal break, during which he or she eats a meal while continuing to perform all job-related duties. An employee must be paid a regular wage for working an on duty meal break, and this time must be considered for overtime. If an employer forces a worker to take an on duty meal break, does not provide compensation, and does not allow the employee to revoke the agreement at any time, the employer is in violation of San Diego labor law.
Statue of Limitations: The amount of time for which an employee can collect back wages retroactively if his or her employer is charged with violating San Diego labor law. For example, with a two year statue of limitations, a San Diego employment lawyer can help a worker collect back wages, interests, and waiting penalties for the past two years, beginning with the date the suit is filed.
Stop Work Order: If the IRS, a trial court, or the Labor Commissioner determines that an employer has misclassified employees as private contractors, a stop work order may be issued against the employer. A stop work order brings business to a halt. When a stop work order is in place, the employer faces potential fines of $1,000 per day per employee who is required to work, with a minimum of $5,000 required in fines. A stop work order may also be issued if an employer is charged with misclassifying employees as exempt from receiving overtime compensation. The existence of stop work orders indicates the seriousness with which the IRS and Labor Commissioner treats violation of San Diego labor law.
Tort Liability: An employer may face tort liability if an employee misclassified as a private contractor suffers injury or is somehow harmed as a result of work. Tort liability can constitute one of many punishments and risks involved with violating San Diego employment law.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Protects workers from discrimination due to religion, race, national origin, appearance, or gender, and for association with others based on these criteria. 1099 contractors are not usually protected under VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, if the IRS reclassifies independent contractors as employees, the employer may be liable if any discrimination has occurred.
White-Collar Workers: Individuals who do not work with their bodies or perform manual labor. Includes professionals in many fields. White-collar workers can accuse employers of violating San Diego labor law through denial of overtime pay or appropriate breaks.
W-2: The tax form regular employees receive. Independent contractors do not receive a W-2.
1099 Contractor: Synonymous to an independent contractor. A 1099 contractor is a person who works from home, on his or her own schedule, and is not a regular part of the office or business. If a person is regularly present at the work place and is told when, where, and how to work, he or she is not a 1099 contractor, and classifying him or her as such is a violation of San Diego labor law.
1099: The tax form independent contractors receive. Regular employees do not receive a 1099.
Waiting Time Penalties: Additional penalties owed by an employer who has violated San Diego labor law, related to whether or not an employee immediately receives all compensation he or she is owed, upon leaving a work place. Defined by California Labor Code 201 and 203. A San Diego labor lawyer defending an employee may demand waiting time penalties when an employee is fired and is not immediately paid all remaining wages, overtime payment, and other forms of compensation.