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Can employees file complaint for cutting hours and paying less?

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by pcgo, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. pcgo

    pcgo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    We are operating a restaurant in California. We have 3 employees - one of them is an employer (partner of our LLC).
    Due to the pandemic we have to close the restaurant for dine-in.
    So, we had to cut the hours and salary.
    Can these employees file a complaint with department of labor?

    Can employers or those not authorized to work or those claiming unemployment still file complaints for not paying full salary?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Sure, complaints can be filed.

    The better questions is will the complaint cause you grief?

    I doubt it, as you are simply complying with a state (or local) mandate.

    In other words, fewer hours is NOT your choice.

    You are doing so under a state (or local) mandate.


    If someone is receiving UNEMPLOYMENT BENNIES, they are receiving some compensation from the gubmint, and some from you.

    I see no reason WHY a complaint would be filed.

    Again, you are reducing hours to comply with a state (or local) legal mandate.
     
    pcgo likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    People can "file complaints" anywhere, any time, for anything.

    If what you are asking is can an employer get in trouble for cutting hours and pay, the answer is "no" as long as employees are getting minimum wage for the hours they do work.

    As for unemployment compensation, they could be eligible for partial benefits depending on how much of a pay cut they are getting.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Huh?

    I think what you're saying is that you and whoever else "we" refers to are members of an LLC that operates a restaurant. The LLC has three employees, one of which is also a member of the LLC (LLCs do not have "partners"). Is that all correct?

    Anyone can file a complaint, but what is it that you think your employees might file a complaint for?

    Again, anyone can file a complaint for anything.

    Are you really paying these employees on a salaried basis? Or are you paying hourly wages? Does the LLC have employment contracts with any or all of these employees that guarantee them a certain level of income? If not, then they are almost certainly at-will employees whose hours (and pay) can be cut at any time and for any reason that isn't expressly illegal.
     
  5. pcgo

    pcgo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We don't have any employment contracts, since ours is a new business and that too hit with the pandemic. They are paid a fixed salary and not hourly wages.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Are they being paid at least minimum wage?
     
  7. pcgo

    pcgo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We don't follow a clockin/clock out for the salaried employees and there's no employment contract.
    In case the employees file and they do win, does the LLC have to pay penalties and backwages? The LLC doesn't have any assets and in fact has more debts. What happens in this case?
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Are you properly classifying the employees? I suspect not.
    It's possible that the individuals involved could be on the hook. That's how it works when you misclassify workers, thus depriving them of their proper pay.
     
  9. pcgo

    pcgo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Can the employer (major shareholder of the LLC) himself file a complaint for getting paid less?
    He is broke and demanding money from the other 2 members of the LLC.
    I thought employers can't demand money for working towards the LLC interests.
    We don't have any clause in the operating agreement of the LLC to pay salary to any of the members.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You need to hire an attorney to represent your interests.

    Your state, CA, can be extremely harsh on employers who violate the myriad of rules and employment laws.

    There is NOTHING internet strangers can do to assist you, except suggest you hire an attorney ASAP.

    A storm is brewing, and your finances could be destroyed.
     
    hrforme and Zigner like this.
  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    In the absence of an employment contract (or a union situation), you can cut salary or terminate employees as you see fit (assuming your motivation is not illegal discrimination or things of that ilk, and as long as you are paying the employees at least minimum wage for hours worked). I have to say that a restaurant paying employees on a salaried basis is extremely unusual, and you might want to consider moving to an hourly wage basis.

    In the abstract world of all that is hypothetical, virtually anything is possible, but you've given no reason to believe your employees would have anything other than a run-of-the-mill unemployment claim, which does not result in any liability for the employer other than possible increased unemployment tax liability.

    If the owners of an LLC fail to adequately capitalize their business, they could find themselves personally liable.

    What does this mean? Salary versus hourly wages is a choice. It isn't a "classification" that can be "proper" or otherwise. You seem to be confusing the manner in which payment is made (salary versus wages) with the concept of exempt versus non-exempt.
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I have not confused manner of payment with exempt vs non-exempt.

    Based on the entirety of what has been posted here, I believe that the OP's company has misclassified their employees as exempt when they should be non-exempt. Please don't make assumptions...if you are unsure, ask.
     
  13. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    No FACTS posted justify that conclusion (previously, you wrote "i suspect," but now you've changed it to "I believe").
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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