Attorney Scott Miller – Protecting Wage Earners in California
Scott Miller, attorney and founder of the Law Offices of Scott A Miller, wages a daily fight for the rights of the “little guy” when they are being treated unfairly by their employer. Miller, a member of the California State Bar, represents clients throughout the state of California when it comes to any type of unfair treatment in the workplace. With unfair employer tactics being perpetrated and violations of the California Labor Board and the Federal Wage and Hour Regulations being evidenced, many workers are being short-changed from compensation to which they are entitled. That’s where Miller comes into the picture. A self-described, “little guy friendly” attorney, he has established himself as one of the leading experts in the country related to employee-employer disputes.
With an undergraduate degree from the University of California-Irvine and a law degree from the University of West Los Angeles, Miller has been practicing law since 2004. He has a genuine concern for people that are taken advantage of in the work place. According to Miller, “Most of our clients don’t always fully understand what is wrong. They just know something is not right about how they are being compensated for their work. Through a very thorough intake process, we are able to determine the problem and guide them through a long term resolution.” Miller continues, “It is not enough to just recover money that was not paid to an employee, employers must change their practices and abide by the law when it comes to fair wages and proper treatment of their employees.” The majority of Millers cases are done on a “no recovery – no fee” basis.
Miller says, “Because of the nature of the problems people bring to us, most of our cases become class action lawsuits. If one person is having a specific problem, it is usually happening to many others within the same organization.” A class action is a civil lawsuit where one or more selected representatives, called “class representatives,” sue on behalf of a class of people. The judge will first have to decide whether the claims of the class representatives arise from facts or law common to the class members. This is called “commonality” in legal terms. Most class actions are called “plaintiff class actions,” because in a lawsuit the parties doing the suing are called “plaintiffs.” Class action suits can help people who have been harmed by another party, such as a product manufacturer or developer, a lending or other
financial institution or an insurance company. An individual may have been injured or suffered some other damage, but one person’s damage alone may not be great enough to justify the expenses of a lawsuit. The wrongdoer in such circumstances may get away with the wrong because of the cost of bringing a lawsuit. But if enough people have also been injured, then the combined damages may be enough to justify bringing a lawsuit to hold the wrongdoer responsible for the harm caused.
Most of Miller’s clients come to him as a result of a termination or because they feel they have experienced some type of harassment. Miller indicates most people would be surprised to know some of the things that employers do by disguising their actions as simply an act to reduce overhead costs.
For example, some employers tell employees to clock out but continue working, or they don’t pay the appropriate overtime rate as mandated by law, or they don’t pay commissioned employees according to regulation. There are literally dozens and dozens of ways an employer can mistreat an employee by disguising it as something that is not easily detected without in-depth investigation. While some
employers blatantly violate the law, others mishandle things because they are not aware of certain regulations. However, ignorance of the law is not justification for breaking the law. If an employer is going to function effectively in business, they must understand employment law or hire an expert in that area.
Miller and his law firm pride themselves in the customer care they provide their clients. Making themselves available seven days a week if necessary, the firm listens intently to the concerns of their clients and has great respect for their thoughts and concerns. The high quality of service provided to their clients is the reason most of their clients come from referrals. Miller states, “Those who have worked with us know how effectively we work and that we have genuine concern for the issues our clients face in the workplace. When people are wronged at work they usually don’t know what to do or how to fix the situation. They turn to us for answers. We work for the enforcement of their rights and make sure they are compensated properly if their rights have been violated according to the law.”
Miller has received numerous accolades from his peers, clients, and other professionals over the years. One professional stated, “I’ve worked with Scott on a number of cases, and he has demonstrated the utmost integrity and dedication. I have referred clients to him, and I am comfortable that they are in excellent hands. He treats each client with respect, and with the ‘pit bull’ attitude that produces the best possible results in both individual and class action wage and hour matters.” Another colleague expresses, “I endorse this lawyer. Scott Miller has the integrity, passion, knowledge and ability that an attorney needs to zealously advocate for his clients. Scott has done incredible work representing employees who have been taken advantage of or otherwise cheated by their employers. He excels in the practice of wage & hour law and has my 100% endorsement.” Another individual sums up the essence of Miller’s practice in his statement, “Scott is an effective and efficient advocate for his clients and the rights of employees. He works with others to bring about fair resolution of matters but always is willing to go to the mat for clients and class members.”
One of the common issues brought to Miller by employees is the violation of the minimum wage laws. To ensure equitable treatment of workers, the federal government has established minimum wage standards, but if state law requires a higher minimum wage then the employee is entitled to the higher wage. These labor laws guarantee that employees receive just compensation for services they
render. Unfortunately, there are still many employers who do not comply with the minimum wage requirements. Some of the more common violations of this law in California where Miller’s office is based include: failure to pay workers within or above the minimum wage; coercing workers to work for tips alone; and recouping labor-related expenses from the worker’s paycheck thus rendering it less
than the minimum wage. These expenses include accidental breakages, spoiling, spills, cost of uniforms or equipment, and cash register shortages. These types of violations are apparent in industries such as healthcare, hotels, day care, agriculture, garment manufacturing and restaurants. These types of infringements may continue for a long period of time before an employee realizes this is a violation of
According to Miller, another common violation among employers is the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees. Workers subject to wage and hour laws related to minimum wages and overtime pay are considered “non-exempt,” while employees to whom these rules do not apply are considered “exempt.” Miller says, “Often, classifying employees between these two classifications is a complex task. The state provides a narrow definition of which job descriptions fall under the exempted categories.” Anyone whose job description does not fit any of the narrowly defined categories is considered “non-exempt.” A majority of workers usually fall into this category and thus are entitled to receive overtime pay. Miller states, “Knowing your employment classification is important in determining what benefits you are entitled to. There are some employers who, unintentionally or intentionally, misclassify employees thus depriving employees of what is legally due them.”
There are literally dozens of ways in which workers’ rights can be taken advantage of in the work place. Miller encourages anyone in California that may be concerned about a workplace situation that doesn’t feel right to contact his office for a free consultation. According to Miller, “If you don’t know your rights under the law, it is like not having any rights. We are here to advocate for our clients, educate them on their rights, and help them reach an equitable settlement if they have been wronged.”
In addition to wage law related work, Miller anticipates also applying his expertise in the area of consumer issues related to unfair fees, deceptive advertising, and privacy related matters. He will also be co-authoring the book, Consumer’s Advocate, which will be released later this year. Because of his expertise and contributions to his profession, Miller will be featured as one of America’s Premier Experts
and Trendsetters in Inc Magazine. Additional information about Miller and his law firm is available at http://www.californiawagelawattorney.com or by calling his office at 800-417-2008.