Your company likely does its best to compensate employees in a fair and timely manner. Yet on occasion, a disgruntled employee might claim you violated wage and hour regulations. They may try pursuing a settlement, and you may worry that it will hurt your business’ reputation and finances.

While your company may have made wage and hour mistakes, it’s crucial to protect it against employees seeking damages. Following these suggestions can help you do so.

Follow California’s wage and hour laws

California’s minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour in 2022. Currently, it sits at $12 an hour for businesses with 25 or less employees, and $13 per hour for those with 26 or more. The state and country’s fluctuating wage standards may confuse workers. But if you hire an employee at a pay rate that’s now lower than the current minimum wage, you must raise their pay to meet state standards.

California’s overtime statutes decree that employees who work between eight and 12 hours in a day will receive one-and-a-half times their hourly pay. And employees who work over 12 hours in a day can receive double their hourly rate of pay. This rate also applies to employees who have worked over eight hours in a row on seven consecutive days. Some employees are exempt from this law, and it’s important to know if your employee’s work falls under this category.

Keep detailed employee and pay records

Make sure your company has comprehensive employee and pay records on hand. Employee records can help you identify their pay rate, pay changes and work schedule. And pay records track the number of hours the employee worked, any overtime they worked and the dates they received their paychecks. While auditing these records may help you find the mistakes your employee alleged, doing so may also dispel their claim.

Wage and hour violations are serious matters. But by following California’s wage and hour laws and keeping proper records, you can protect your business against them. If your company faces a wage and hour suit, working with a legal professional can help you fight it.