Contractors are not known for their honesty. Stories like this one coming out of California don’t help the matter. Miklos was hired by a painting contractor in July 2011, six months before The Wage and Theft Prevention Act went into effect in California. The Act requires employers to provide employees with their rate of pay, including overtime.
Miklos alleges he was never given a job description. He claims his work as an estimator quickly escalated into 60+ hours per week. At first he was allegedly told (verbally) that he would be paid a base salary with 15% commission on profits which would be paid bi-weekly through his paycheck.
Before long Miklos realized that he was not getting paid any commission when jobs were completed. Four of the paychecks that he did get bounced. Although the employer later rectified the bounced checks, Miklos was allegedly still not getting paid overtime or any time off. He alleges he regularly worked 6-day weeks and some Sundays.
After more than a year of this grueling work schedule (which included working Christmas Eve, July 4, and New Year’s Day) Miklos asked for a week off. Initially, he received an email from his boss saying that he “wouldn’t resist” the vacation time.
On the last night of his vacation, Miklos emailed his employer with his own job description and asked for overtime pay based on his most recent salary and a 40-hour work week. His employer allegedly replied “Not approved” and then changed his mind about the vacation time, saying that it was not authorized.
Although Miklos says his employer was pleased with his work up until this point, he allegedly started coming up with complaints from clients. Then he allegedly wanted Miklos to see a mental health professional, implying that Miklos was not in his right mind when he demanded to be paid for the overtime that he had worked. Miklos’s return to work was conditional upon seeing the health professional.
After telling his boss that the medical exam was illegal and actionable, Miklos was fired, although his boss told the California Employment Development Department that he quit. The employer, not wanting to pay unemployment benefits, didn’t leave a paper trail and didn’t outright fire Miklos, but allegedly stopped putting him on the schedule. When Miklos filed for unemployment benefits, the EDD denied him based on an interview with the employer. Miklos filed and appeal but he is not optimistic about his chances.
Miklos has also filed a claim with the California Labor Commission for $15,688, including 1,000 hours of unpaid overtime and $3,100 in unpaid commissions. The claim is currently awaiting a hearing date. Miklos is not optimistic about this claim either though, since he alleges his boss had asked him in the past to testify in court for him when another employee filed overtime claims. Miklos never did it, but is afraid that now another employee will be paid by his ex-employer to testify against him.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retailers such as Walmart for misclassifying employees as managers, failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Rockford and Peoria. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Joliet and Aurora overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago wage and hour attorney by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.