On February 11, 2015, the Labor Commissioner awarded the Center’s client Leon Burns $44,961.90 in wages, interest, and penalties after a hearing was conducted on January 15, 2015. Stephanie Medina, a first year law student at UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) represented Mr. Burns at the hearing.
Mr. Burns began working for his employer in 2010 and worked 4 days a week on a 10 hour a day schedule. As a driver, Mr. Burns would be assigned a route, which could not be completed within his scheduled shift; consequently, he consistently worked additional time beyond his 10 hour schedule. Mr. Burns was never paid overtime by the company.
After learning that drivers employed by the same company at a different location were receiving overtime compensation, Mr. Burns asked his manager why he was not being paid overtime. The manager said it was a corporate decision and there was nothing that could be done. After inquiring a few more times about overtime payment, the manager told him that if he disagreed with the decision, he could file a claim with the Labor Commissioner. When Mr. Burns then asked his manager to tell him his hourly rate so that he could complete the Labor Commissioner Claim, he was fired the next day.
At the hearing, employer admitted to failing to pay over time based on California’s 8 hour day standard, though it refused to admit that Mr. Burns ever worked over 10 hours in a day. But, the employer was unable to provide accurate time records and its two witnesses provided inconsistent testimony regarding Mr. Burn’s hours worked.
The Labor Commissioner rightly found that the employer had failed to keep accurate time records and that Mr. Burns was due overtime compensation, interest, and penalties.