What People Say About Us

Thank you for believing in me and in my family. Thank you for seeing us as human beings, and thank you for treating us as such. Thank you for making this process less painful and less stressful.
I found Mr. Shimoda to be extremely helpful, easy to talk to and very personable. He explained my options clearly, addressing the pros and cons of my case. Galen answered all of my questions and provided a clear-cut path on which to proceed. He kept me updated by phone and e-mail in a timely manner. Because of his diligence and knowledge of the law my case was concluded with a favorable outcome. If I ever need an "A-1" attorney in any future legal situations he would be the first one I would call.

Wage and Hour

Class Actions
  • Our office has brought several class actions on behalf of California employees regarding unpaid overtime, unpaid minimum wages, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to pay reimbursement expenses, failure to pay prevailing wages, and many other wage and hour claims. We work with you to help correct the widespread wrongs your employer may be committing not only against you, but your fellow co-workers as well. We have a long track record of success in class actions and have settled claims for millions of dollars.

  • Unpaid Overtime
  • California employees are generally entitled to overtime pay for any work performed over eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week. This applies regardless of the type of compensation that is paid, e.g. hourly, piece rate, commission plans where the earnings from commissions represent less than fifty percent of your total earnings. Just because an employee is paid on a salary basis does not mean that they are not entitled to overtime pay. There are only a few very specific and narrow exceptions to this rule depending on the type of work that is actually done by the employee. Oftentimes, employers misclassify an employee as salaried when, in fact they should be paid hourly and receive overtime pay. Whether an employer simply isn’t paying you overtime or has misclassified you as a salaried employee, we will be able to provide you the representation you need to get back what is owed to you.

  • Minimum Wages
  • Although one of the most basic requirements for any employer, there are still many instances where failure to pay minimum wages occur. For example, if an employee is paid on a piece rate system, the employer must still pay the employee at least the minimum wage for all worked performed. Another example occurs when the employer has made unlawful deductions from an employee’s pay that results in the employee making less than the minimum wage, e.g. deductions for lodging provided by your employer where there is no express agreement to do so or where the employer deducts from your paycheck due to accidental damage or loss of company property. Because of the public policy involved behind paying employees at least the minimum wage, an employee may recover double damages for any violation. We at the Shimoda Law Corp. have experience in dealing with nearly every kind of minimum wage dispute and can help you through the process.

  • Reimbursement
  • Every employee, whether they are paid hourly, salary, commission, piece rate, or otherwise, is entitled to reimbursement for business expenses incurred while carrying out their employer’s business. Examples of this can include mileage for having to drive your car and pay for gas in performing your work, having to buy work materials or equipment, having to repair equipment, having to stay in a hotel room at the direction of your employer, and various other tasks. The Shimoda Law Corp. will assist you in identifying what is a reimbursable expense and what can be done to recoup these expenses.

  • Meal and Rest Periods
  • With rare exceptions, an employer must provide its employees a duty-free, thirty-minute meal period if the employee works for more than five hours and a second duty-free, thirty-minute meal period if the employee works longer than ten hours. Similarly, an employer provide its employees with one ten-minute rest period for shifts of three and a half to four hours, two ten-minute rest periods for shifts of six to ten hours, and three ten-minute rest periods for shifts of ten to fourteen hours. Employers cannot bully employees or create incentives for them to miss their meal and rest periods. Where an employer has not provided its employee with a full meal or rest period, the employee is entitled to receive an additional hour of pay. If you feel that the conditions at your work prevent you from taking meal or rest periods, contact our office to help you remedy the situation.

  • Vacation Pay
  • In most circumstances, once an employee earns vacation time according to a company’s plan or policy, that time is vested and belongs to the employee. At separation of employment, an employer must pay the departing employee the pro rata cash value of any unused vacation time. Many “use-it-or-lose-it” provisions, allowing neither a carry-over of unused vacation nor payment in lieu thereof, are unacceptable under California law. We, at the Shimoda Law Corp., assist employees in making sure that they are not subjected to unlawful “use-it-or-lose-it” policies and are paid all accrued vacation within the appropriate time frame at resignation or termination.

  • Off-the-Clock
  • Off-the-clock claims occur when the employee performs work outside of what is listed on their time card. This can happen because an employee was specifically directed to do so or because the employee was given deadlines at work and must complete his job outside of normal work hours. Our firm will assist you in identifying why and how an employer, at the very least, should have been aware that you were performing the work and, therefore, should have compensated you for this additional time.

  • Civil and Statutory Penalties
  • Because California law is so protective of employee’s wages, there are several statutory provisions that allow an employee to receive penalties, paid by the employer, in addition to any wages due. These penalties can be based on failure to provide accurate wage statements or failure to pay all wages due at termination or within seventy-two hours of resignation. We at the Shimoda Law Corp. have experience in obtaining penalty payments for employees as well as bringing Private Attorney General Act Claims to obtain further penalties on behalf of the employee and any similarly aggrieved co-workers.

  • Severance
  • Employers sometimes confront employees with signing a severance agreement. There are many questions that go into whether an employee should sign the severance. Some severance agreements will include provisions for no-rehire, confidentiality, disparagement, and revocation. We, at the Shimoda Law Corp., can handle severances and determine whether they are fair.

  • Breach of Contract
  • Our firm handles the drafting of employment agreements for high-level executives and any disputes that may arise under executive contracts including issues relating to stock grants or options, other compensation, termination, or severance negotiations. We have also handled cases in which the employer promised a job or other benefits to the employee only to renege thereafter. We also handle the more garden variety breach of contract claims including claims arising in business litigation.

  • Labor Commissioner
  • The California Labor Commissioner is a State agency charged with enforcing the state’s wage and hour protections for employees. Our office has substantial experience in participating in settlement conferences and hearings before the Labor Commissioner for all aspects of wage and hour claims. We have also handled several successful appeals of Labor Commissioner decisions. If you need representation at a Labor Commissioner proceeding or a consultation to determine your best course of action at a settlement conference or hearing, do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance.

  • Independent Contractor
  • Employers are sometimes tempted to classify employees as “independent contractors” so they can avoid paying overtime and minimum wages or providing meal and rest breaks. Whether an employer classifies a person as an employee or independent contractor comes with substantial repercussions. Requirements to pay overtime and protection from discrimination and harassment may not exist if a person is an independent contractor. Thus, the determination is extremely important. There are a host of factors that go into determining whether a person is correctly classified as an independent contractor or an employee and our office will help you with this analysis to ensure the proper protections are being provided.

  • Illegal Deductions
  • Only in limited situations may an employer make deductions from an employee’s paycheck – taxes, social security, health benefits, union dues. An employer may not reduce an employee’s wages or commissions to offset employee-caused losses – such as cash shortages, breakage or loss of equipment. Even if an employee owes an employer money, the employer may not unilaterally withhold part of the employee’s wages in order to repay the debt. If this has happened to you, please contact the Shimoda Law Corp.