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Levi Strauss Will Pay $1M in Overtime Wages For Misclassifying Employees

April 8, 2011

According to a recent U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division press release that our Newport Beach labor and employment attorneys have been following, Levi Strauss & Co. has agreed pay over $1 million in overtime backwages to around 600 employees after the department found that the denim maker neglected to record accurate hours that employees were working in the company's payroll system--resulting in employee misclassification.

Levi Strauss reportedly worked cooperatively with the department to review the data over a two-year period, after the DOL found that the company engaged in employee misclassification with groups of employees, by making them exempt from overtime compensation.

As our attorneys have discussed recently in an Irvine, California employment lawyers blog, California employees are generally classified as either exempt or non-exempt employees. Most non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), which is one and a half times their regular compensation rate when they work over 40-hours in a workweek.

Employers frequently miscalculate the amount of overtime that workers are actually owed, when working past 40-hours in a work week. Under the FLSA, all employers must keep accurate time records on all wages and all hours worked by employees.

Employee misclassification can happen when an employer erroneously classifies an employee as exempt, meaning that the employee is not entitled to overtime pay or other wage and hour benefits that are usually available to non-exempt employees. If an employee has been improperly classified, they may be entitled to overtime compensation. .

At Howard Law, PC, our labor and employment lawyers represent individuals who have experienced employee misclassification and other violations of the FLSA or California Labor Codes in Orange County, California. Contact us today for a free consultation about your wage and hour rights.

UPDATE 2: Levi Strauss to pay over $1mln in overtime back wages, Reuters, March 29, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Related Blog Posts:
Workers on Federally Funded NYC Housing Project Receive $792K in Back Pay for Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 28, 2010

U.S. DOL Recovers $339K in Back Wages for Electrical Mechanics, California Employment Lawyers Blog, December 7, 2010