Unpaid Wage Lawyers in San Francisco

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

Even if your employer pays you a salary, says you are exempt or are an independent contractor, you may be eligible for overtime pay. If you suspect you are owed unpaid wages, we are here to help. You should request a wage dispute attorney evaluation if your employer wrongfully refuses to pay you overtime compensation, refuses to pay you for all hours worked, or withholds sales commissions.

The San Francisco unpaid wages lawyers at McCormack Law Firm have over two decades of experience helping individuals from many different backgrounds recover unpaid wages and are here to assist you in recovering what you are owed.

You May Qualify for Overtime

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

Just because your employer says you are exempt from overtime and pays you a salary does not mean you are not entitled to overtime pay. Many employees mistakenly believe they are exempt, but are actually entitled to a significant amount of unpaid overtime compensation.

Non-exempt workers and overtime rates
California Overtime Rates
California overtime laws

In California, a typical non-exempt employee must receive 1.5 times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in any workday or for hours worked over 40 in one workweek. He or she must also receive 1.5 times pay for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in any workweek.

The employee must be paid double the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday, and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

California and federal labor laws provide workers with vital protections from unfair treatment in the workplace. Here are some important things you need to know to safeguard your rights.


What if my employer says I am exempt?

There are number of exemptions to the overtime law. An exemption means that the law does not apply to a particular classification of employees. California overtime law separates employees into two groups: exempt and non-exempt. Only non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay, meal breaks, paid rest breaks, and minimum wage.

But just because your employer says you're exempt and pays you a salary does not mean you are actually exempt. Many employees mistakenly believe they are exempt, but are actually entitled to a significant amount of 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)

However, it's not always clear who falls into these exemptions.  Wage law is a such a complex mixture of state laws, federal laws, government agency regulations, and court opinions, that you may need an unpaid wage attorney’s help to determine if you fall under a particular exemption.

4 examples of incorrect exemptions:

We 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
What if I am told I am an independent contractor?

California’s employers are some of the largest abusers of the independent contractor designation. Independent contractors lose many of the benefits regular employees have. Random audits have shown that up to 33% of employees are misclassified and millions of dollars are lost 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
Worker Misclassification in California
California’s employers are some of the largest abusers of independent contractor status

The primary factor in determining whether an individual is an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor, is the employer's "right to control" your work. The more you seem like any other employee, and the less control you have, the more likely it is you have been misclassified as an independent contractor. Unfortunately there is no simple black-and-white test to determine what kind of control your employer must exercise, for you to be considered an employee. The San Francisco employment attorneys at McCormack Law Firm can assess whether you have been misclassified 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 payment indexed to sales you make is a sales commission, even if your employer calls it a bonus or something else. Commission plans must state in writing the conditions for earning the commission and the calculation formula. If you complete a sale and meet all requirements of your commission plan, then you are owed that commission. The employer cannot change the plan after the fact or later claim that the commission plan is discretionary. Even if you quit or are terminated before the payout date, you may be owed some or all of your commissions for sales that you made. Furthermore, as discussed above, some inside sales persons are owed overtime, and in that case, the commission is factored into your overtime rate.


Misclassification of a salesperson and unpaid commissions

Our client was misclassified as exempt when he was hired as a salesperson. After he was terminated from the position, his employer refused to pay the commissions and overtime he was owed.


Once he reached out to the employment attorneys at McCormack Law Firm for help, we realized that he had been improperly misclassified as exempt when in fact he was a nonexempt employee. We filed a lawsuit on his behalf and were able to recover more than he originally thought he was owed.

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

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