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Unpaid California Overtime 101: It's Soooo Easy…

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Los Angeles, CAOkay, so you're working away at work, happy as a clam, oblivious to any potential slight-of-hand your employer might be wielding against you in an effort to avoid paying what is your due. In this way, you may be a victim of unpaid California overtime, and not even know it.

Overtime WorkerWhat's that, you say? 'My boss is being unfair to me?' Surely, that can't be the case. You work in a nice sunny office, in one of the most glorious places in America, the sun-kissed State of California. Your boss comes to work smiling. He brings coffee. He never yells. He remembers your birthday. This is a guy who's a candidate for Boss of the Year.

He's such a nice guy, you really didn't mind being asked to come into work early and get a head start on things before the phones start ringing. That makes you the first person in the office in the morning, and the go-to-guy for making sure all is right with everything that came in overnight. Once the remainder of the staff wanders in around 9am, everything is in order. Your boss is smiling. You're his Guy Friday, and he trusts you with this daily bit of added responsibility. The remainder of the staff appreciates your loyalty as well—coming in early, straightening everything up, and getting everything ready so everything is humming along.

True, you don't get paid extra for your efforts. But it's the least you can do for a great boss. Great bosses are worth putting in the extra effort, when they ask you to do things for free.

Indeed.

No wonder your boss is smiling. No wonder he's happy, and floating through the workplace on an angel's wings. He's got a loyal foot soldier that helps to maintain productivity, while keeping the costs down. His shareholders are happy with him, too.

They're happy over the improved bottom line, earned on your back because your happy boss asks you to eat lunch at your desk, to get a head start on tomorrow's tasks. "By getting a head-start today, tomorrow will be an easier day," he says to you. And you're happy to oblige.

Indeed.

What about the work you take home? You have a computer at home, after all. And the Internet. And you just can't say no when Boss suggests, with a wink, that it would be real helpful for everyone in the department if you could "clean this file up at home tonight…"

Indeed.

And those days you are on call? Which are most of your days off, aren't they? "This is a big project, Mr. Lackey, so enjoy your weekend but don't go far. We may have to call you in at a moment's notice, and we'll need you here. You might have to defer that camping trip with the family…again."

Oh, that's no problem. Just like it's no problem when you are asked to work extra hours on Friday, only to be promised that you can knock off early next week. Of course that never happens, but you know how things are…

Sure.

Reality check. You're being taken advantage of, my friend. And some of the most cunning crooks, and most vile villains are seemingly nice people who grin like a Cheshire cat, bring you coffee and can sell an air conditioner to an Eskimo. It's not co-incidence that he came up through the ranks from sales.

He is selling you a bill of goods—and he is cheating you out of potentially thousands of dollars worth of unpaid overtime. And he's doing it with a free cup of coffee and a smile on his face.

Your boss is breaking the law, and denying you, your rights. It's time to make it known that the free ride is over, and that you're putting in for retroactive overtime.

Better yet, call a good lawyer first. Someone who can guide you, and help you get what is rightfully your's.

READ ABOUT CALIFORNIA OVERTIME LAWSUITS

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