Reid & Hellyer Employment & Labor Attorney Featured in Press-Enterprise Column

May 19, 2010

Douglas-A-Plazak.jpgAs an attorney specializing in labor and employment law, Douglas A. Plazak recently wrote a column that ran in the May 19 edition of the Press-Enterprise about the unintended consequences of the state's labor laws for both workers and employers.

Plazak writes that the strict rules governing the workplaces related to the length of the workday as well as overtime pay are regulations that can lead to unfortunate consequences for both sides and cites the example of an employee taking time off to perform a needed errand.

"In the case of the very strict exempt vs. non-exempt employee regulations in California, these laws create situations in which nonexempt employees do not want to take time off to go to the dentist or other appointments. Since they can't work more than eight hours in a day, and the employer won't authorize overtime, they have no way to make up lost time. Their paycheck is therefore smaller if they take time off to go to the appointment."

Plazak also notes that when employers do grant flexibility to their employees, it can come back to the detriment of the employer. He cites a situation in which a restaurant grants an employee extra work shifts. As the total number of hours exceeded 40 in a week, the employer was eventually sued because they didn't know that thworkingmasthead.jpge employee had to then be paid overtime.

"These kinds of cases are great for lawyers, but at what cost to the economic prosperity and productivity of the residents and business owners? If an employee wants more wages and is willing to waive the overtime requirement, why should he or she not be allowed to do so?"

As an employment attorney involved in such issues, Plazak has taken a leadership role in employment issues. He recently testified to members of the California Legislature in March 2010 at the Legislative Summit on Jobs and Regulations in California.

Headquartered in Riverside, Reid & Hellyer has been serving the Inland Empire for more than 100 years as one of the most-respected full service law firms in Southern California, providing legal services in business and real estate litigation, real estate development, transactional and media law, bankruptcy, mediation and civil rights. Reid & Hellyer serves individual and business clients of national, regional and local prominence. Learn more at

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