The trial court erred in granting an employer judgment on an employee’s suit for overtime wages. The employee provided uncontradicted evidence that he worked overtime hours on weekends (in addition to his normal 40-hours of work on weekdays) to prepare for or participate in special events for the employer. Having thus proven entitlement to overtime pay, the employee could not be denied compensation merely because his employer failed to keep accurate time records of the employee’s hours of work. Instead, estimates based on the employee’s memory of time spent on special projects sufficed, and the burden shifted to the employer to disprove the claimed hours. Also, commissions earned for the special projects went into the computation of base pay rather than being an offset against unpaid overtime wages. The trial court also erred in failing to enter findings on the employee’s claim that he was damaged by the employer’s failure to provide wage statements that contained all the information required by Lab. Code 226. On their face, the wage statements showed their noncompliance with the statute, and due to the missing information, the employee couldn’t figure out what he was owed for his overtime work. Finally, judgment was properly entered against the employee on his meal break claim because he presented no evidence to show that the employer was aware he wasn’t taking meal time breaks as prescribed by company policy.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1 (Kelly, J., sitting by assignment); December 12, 2018 (published January 4, 2019); 30 Cal. App. 5th 1072