Unpaid Wage Lawyers in San Rafael, CA

You deserve timely payment of all wages and commissions and California law requires it.

Even if you receive a salary, are classified as exempt, or are labeled an independent contractor, you might still qualify for overtime compensation. If you believe you're entitled to unpaid wages, we're ready to support you. Consider seeking an evaluation from a wage dispute attorney if your employer unjustly denies you overtime pay, fails to compensate you for all the hours you've worked, or withholds sales commissions.

The San Rafael unpaid wages attorneys at McCormack Law Firm boast more than twenty years of experience in aiding people from diverse backgrounds to reclaim unpaid wages. They are committed to helping you recover the earnings you rightfully deserve.

You May Qualify for Overtime

Employees working in some high-paying, professional jobs like sales or information technology may be entitled to overtime pay.

The fact that your employer classifies you as exempt from overtime and pays you a salary doesn't automatically disqualify you from receiving overtime compensation. A common misconception among many workers is that they are exempt when, in reality, they may be eligible for a substantial amount of unpaid overtime pay.

Non-exempt workers and overtime rates
California Overtime Rates
Overtime laws related to San Rafael California employees

In California, standard non-exempt employees are entitled to receive their regular rate of pay multiplied by 1.5 for any hours worked beyond eight in a single workday or beyond 40 in a workweek. Additionally, this 1.5 times rate applies to the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work within the same workweek.

Furthermore, employees should receive twice their regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond 12 in any workday and for hours worked beyond eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

California and federal labor laws provide workers in San Rafael with vital protections from unfair treatment in the workplace. Our infographic offers important things you need to know to safeguard your rights.


What if my employer says I am exempt?

Several exemptions exist within the overtime legislation, indicating that the law does not cover certain categories of employees. In California, the overtime regulations distinguish between two types of employees: exempt and non-exempt. Only those classified as non-exempt are eligible for overtime compensation, meal and rest breaks, and the minimum wage.

However, being labeled as exempt by your employer and receiving a salary does not automatically exempt you from these entitlements. It's a common error for many workers to assume they're exempt when they may, in fact, be eligible for considerable unpaid compensation.


While exemption lines can be blurry, some common classifications include:

  • Management ("Executive" Exemption)
  • High-level individual contributors ("Administrative" Exemption)
  • People with advanced degrees, actors and artists ("Professional" Exemption)

Determining who qualifies for these exemptions can be challenging. The complexity of wage law, with its blend of state and federal statutes, regulatory agency guidelines, and judicial decisions, means you might require the assistance of an attorney specializing in unpaid wages to ascertain whether you are covered by a specific exemption.

4 examples of incorrect exemptions:

The unpaid wages lawyers in our San Rafael office can evaluate your position and actual duties to determine if you are owed overtime, breaks, and other wages.


Executive in Name Only

A "store manager" or "assistant store managers" who supervises a few employees, and is paid a fixed salary, but spends more than half her time stocking shelves and helping customers, is likely not exempt and should be paid overtime. A factory floor 'team lead' who tells people what to do, but doesn't have any real influence over hiring and firing is also not likely exempt.


Inside Salespersons

A highly-paid salesperson, who spends more than half his time inside the office, and earns less than half his income from commission, is likely owed overtime compensation in California. An inside salesperson who receives over half her income from commissions but mostly sells to businesses, and not consumers, may also be due overtime.


Computer Professionals

An I.T. person who earns a high salary, but spends most of her time doing tech support is probably not exempt. I.T. people outside of tech support may not be exempt either, depending on their salary and exact duties.


Highly-Paid Administrative Staff

Administrative Staff who are Closely Directed: The Administrative exemption usually applies to non-managers who perform independent, strategic work. However, an executive assistant earning $90,000 per year is likely not exempt.

Our commitment to workers
What if I am told I am an independent contractor?

Employers in California are notably among the most frequent to improperly label workers as independent contractors. This misclassification results in independent contractors missing out on numerous benefits that regular employees receive. Random inspections have revealed that as many as 33% of workers are incorrectly classified, leading to the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

If you have been misclassified, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime, meal and rest breaks, and various additional penalties.


We give employees like you the best chance of winning your case.


We fight for the rights of employees wronged in the workplace.


No Fee Unless You Win.


Your first consultation is always free.

Independent contractor misclassification is becoming more prevalent in San Rafael
Worker Misclassification in California
California’s employers in cities like San Rafael are some of the largest abusers of independent contractor status

The key criterion for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor is the degree of control the employer has over your work. The more your situation resembles that of a regular employee, with less autonomy over your tasks, the higher the likelihood that you've been incorrectly labeled as an independent contractor. There isn't a straightforward, clear-cut method to define the specific level of control that categorizes you as an employee. However, the employment lawyers at McCormack Law Firm in San Rafael can evaluate your case to determine if you've been wrongly classified as an independent contractor.

The most important factors in misclassification of independent contractors

The more you seem like any other employee, the more likely you have been misclassified as an independent contractor. Courts will balance these factors to determine whether you are an employee or independent contractor. Here are four of the most important factors

1 Whether you have to work at a specific time and place
2 Whether you receive training and how closely you are directed
3 Whether your employment ends at a certain date or is ongoing
4 Whether you are paid a salary

Sales Commissions

Any form of payment that is tied to the sales you generate qualifies as a sales commission, regardless of whether your employer refers to it as a bonus or by any other name. Commission agreements must be documented in writing, clearly outlining the prerequisites for earning commissions and the formula used for their calculation. If you finalize a sale and fulfill the stipulated conditions of your commission plan, you are entitled to that commission. Employers are not permitted to modify the commission plan retroactively or later assert that the plan was discretionary. Additionally, if you resign or are dismissed before the commission's scheduled payment date, you might still be entitled to receive all or a portion of the commissions for sales you completed. Moreover, as previously mentioned, certain inside sales employees are eligible for overtime pay, in which case, commissions are incorporated into the calculation of your overtime pay rate.


Misclassification of a salesperson and unpaid commissions

Our client was incorrectly labeled as exempt upon being employed as a salesperson. Following his termination, his employer declined to compensate him for the commissions and overtime pay he had earned.


After seeking assistance from McCormack Law Firm, it became clear that he had been wrongfully classified as exempt, whereas he should have been considered a nonexempt employee. We initiated legal action on his behalf and successfully secured a settlement exceeding the amount he initially believed was due to him.

An inside salesperson was classified by his employer as exempt when he was hired.
The company refused to pay him his commissions on sales that he had closed.
The salesperson was terminated and was not paid all his earned commissions.
He was owed a substantial amount of overtiam pay in addition to his commissions.
We filed a lawsuit on his behalf and were able to recover more than he originally thought he was owed.
Client testimonials

This law firm was the only one to answer the phone out of the 15-20 law firms that I called that day. I had a wrongful termination case and Bryan really took the time to listen and understand what happened in my situation, and he knows the law to a T. – Shanic M.

I was owed wages and overtime and my employer refused to pay me. So I hired them to file a lawsuit. Bryan easily understood my very complicated case and I am happy with the results. – Ebi Z.

I didn’t have to pay anything, the firm took the whole risk of managing the case. Through the 14 months, Bryan always kept me updated, was very responsive and patient to questions I had. We achieved a resolution out of court in my favor, making me even happier about the experience. – Peter S.

I can honestly say that my experience with Bryan was all the way positive from day one… We had very high expectations about our case and in the end we got what we hoped for. – Roger J.

I won my trial and I got more than I expected. Everyone in the office is so nice and helpful. Even after everything was finished I could call a few weeks after and ask questions to make sure I was protected and they are more than helpful. – Husain N.

I never had to pay Bryan anything up front, nor was ever pressured to settle early. We ended up settling morning of the trial. Bryan is a really sharp, aggressive, seasoned attorney and knew the law inside and out about whistleblower cases. – Kyle B.

Call for a free case evaluation with a San Rafael Attorney

We understand it can be difficult to understand all of the rules surrounding overtime pay, minimum wage, and laws pertaining to unpaid wages. The experienced unpaid wages lawyers at McCormack Law Firm are available to answer your questions or concerns. Please call us for a free consultation.

Call: 415.925.5161