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California Overtime Dreaming

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Peter Hodge, Modesto, CA"I was fired because I started telling the other employees that the company's excuses not to pay us overtime were garbage, and I proved it through California statutues. The reason they gave me: "We no longer require your services." That was all they wrote.

"I worked for Ontel Security Inc. and I was a corporal, which translates into a patrol supervisor. The company paid us semi-monthly: they claimed that if you worked from the 1st to the 15th of each month, they would only pay overtime after you complete 88 hours of work. "

California labor laws are specific:

Overtime equals one and one half (1.5) times an employee's regular hourly rate of pay for hours worked over eight (8) in a workday or over forty (40) hours in a work week.
Doubletime equals two (2) times an employee's regular rate of pay for hours worked over twelve (12) in a workday or for hours over eight (8) on the seventh day of the work week.

"They would not follow the labor laws and flat-out refused to pay what was owed to us. Our overtime money went into the boss's racing car and not our pay checks.

"I contacted the labor department and they said they couldn't act on our behalf because not enough people were affected by this. 82 people working for the company were not paid overtime! I said to them that one person should be enough to act. My other co-worker got fired. He was another loud-mouth like me.

"I found out, three weeks after I was fired, that the attorney representing this company quit. I only worked there for three months so they only owe me $600 but some people have been there a few years and work 60-65 hours per week, every week. They are owed thousands of dollars. They can't complain about it because they will lose their jobs like me.

"These guys get to carry batons and mace and generally enjoy what they do. They just wish they were better compensated for it. Depending on what Ontel can get away with, if they think you aren't the brightest bulb in the stadium, they will offer you a low starting wage such as $7.50 (minimum wage is $6.75) and if someone comes in the door with a college degree or a retired law enforcer, you will start at $8.25. Then for every certification card you get, such as a firearms permit, you get an extra .25 cents per hour.

So you get 25 cents extra per hour to carry a gun, with all the liability that goes with it. AND you are walking around with a firearm after an eight hour day, putting your life on the line, for nothing. If you are an armed security guard, you aren't working at the best sites anyway because corporate, high-end clients don't want armed guards. These people are looking for public relations ambassadors. So if you are working on a site that wants guns, they have had problems in the past. Section 8, which is low-income housing, is our primary contract, where they want firearms. 711 stores get robbed on weekends so we have to work weekends and get paid straight time. There's no danger pay for us. And no overtime.


California Overtime Legal Help

If you work in California and you feel that you are owed overtime pay, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [California Overtime Lawsuit] to review your case at no cost or obligation.


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