Attorney Jean-Claude Lapuyade

Fighting For Your Rights As An Employee

If you work in California, you are entitled to some of the most protective employment laws in the country. Federal labor laws provide a set of standards by which nearly all American companies must abide, but our state provides additional protection for workers in many areas.

At JCL Law Firm, APC, our founding attorney, Jean-Claude Lapuyade, is passionate about fighting for appropriate treatment for all employees. He understands how employers can use a worker’s ignorance of their rights to take advantage of them or fire them for inappropriate reasons. Our firm conducts intensive investigations into your claim to determine if you deserve compensation for the lost income or other damages to which you may be entitled. Our work for you is well-planned, so it is cost effective. Additionally, we take employment law cases on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay legal fees to us up front. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you.

How Do I Know If I Have A Case?

Our lead attorney has recovered millions of dollars in back pay and employer penalties for clients with labor law claims. Some of the more common case types that our office handles include:

There are many other federal or state employment laws that could apply to your case. JCL Law Firm can examine the facts of your conflict with your employer and advise you on the next steps you should take.

You Do Not Have To Tolerate Unlawful Treatment On The Job

Take advantage of your rights as a California worker by hiring an experienced and successful employment lawyer. We work with clients throughout San Diego County from our office in the Old Town section of San Diego. Call 619-826-6975 or email us to set up an appointment.

Case Results From Labor And Employment Lawsuits

Unpaid Rest Period For Commissioned-Based Employees

Date: February 8, 2019

Case: San Diego Superior Court

Client: Call center employees paid solely on a commission

Employer: Accredited Debt Relief, LLC

Settlement: $2,000,000.00

Legal theory: Unpaid rest periods

The California wage and hour attorneys at the JCL Law Firm obtained final approval of a $2 million class action settlement on behalf of approximately 475 settlement class members. Like all other nonexempt California employees, employees paid solely on a commission basis are entitled to 10-minute paid rest break for every four-hour work period, or major fraction thereof. However, unlike hourly compensated employees, employees paid solely on a commission basis must get separate compensation for paid rest periods. Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture, LLC., 9 Cal.App.5th 98 (2017). An employer that fails to separately compensate its commissioned employees for paid rest periods violates California labor laws. If an employer, fails to separately compensate its commissioned salespeople for paid rest breaks, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of wages for each workday the employer violates the paid rest break requirement. In this case, the California employer failed to separately compensate its salespersons paid solely on a commission for their paid rest periods. Thus, the employer denied these call center employees of their paid rest periods. The experienced employment class action attorneys at the JCL Law Firm negotiated a $2 million settlement within 12 months of filing the action.

Misclassified Independent Contractors (Personal Shoppers)

Date: May 24, 2018

Case: Los Angeles Superior Court

Client: Misclassified personal shoppers

Employer: Confidential

Settlement: $2,000,000

Legal theory: Misclassified independent contractors

On May 24, 2018, the JCL Law Firm settled a wage and hour class action on behalf of a class of approximately 1,500 misclassified California employees. The JCL Law Firm filed the class action complaint in the California Superior Court alleging that the employer improperly classified a group of approximately 1,500 workers as independent contractors rather than employees. The employer’s unlawful practice denied its misclassified workers valuable legal protections like minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest breaks. After more than one year of litigation, the JCL Law Firm successfully reached a $2 million settlement on behalf of the misclassified employees.

Meal And Rest Period Violations For Retail Employees

Date: January 11, 2018

Case: San Bernardino Superior Court

Client: Retail sales employees

Defendants: Confidential

Settlement: $1,800,000

Legal theory: Meal and rest period violations

On January 11, 2018, the JCL Law Firm obtained final class action settlement approval from the San Bernardino Superior Court for a $1.8 million settlement on behalf of more than 1,000 retail sales employees. The JCL Law Firm filed the class action complaint in the San Bernardino Superior Court alleging that the employer, an international brand retailer, unlawfully required its sales employees to remain “on duty” during meal and rest periods through the use of “on duty” meal period agreements. The employees worked in shopping malls for the international brand retailer and should have been provided with duty-free meals and rest periods. After a little more than 1 year of litigation, the JCL Law Firm successfully reached a $1,800,000 settlement on behalf of the retail employees.

On Duty Nurses – Meal And Rest Period Violations

Date: July 25, 2018

Case: California Superior Court

Client: Nurses and hospital employees

Employer: Confidential

Settlement: $1,650,000.00

Legal theory: On-duty meal and rest periods

The wage and hour class action attorneys at the JCL Law Firm obtained final approval for a $1.65 million class action settlement on behalf of California health care employees. The California-based employer required its nonexempt health care employees to carry cordless communications devices and to promptly respond to calls on those devices throughout their entire work shift – including during meal and rest periods. The health care employees argued that the policy deprived them of “duty-free” meal and rest periods in violation of applicable California labor laws. The matter settled at private mediation following nearly 2 years of litigation.

Meal And Rest Period Violations – Nursing Staff

Date: March 20, 2018

Case: San Diego Superior Court case

Client: Southern California-based respiratory therapist

Employer: Southern California Hospital

Settlement: $700,000.00

The JCL Law Firm negotiated a $700,000 PAGA only settlement on behalf of approximately 1,700 aggrieved employees. The employer failed to provide legally compliant meal and rest periods and failed to pay its nursing staff the correct rate of pay for overtime hours worked.

Misclassified Real Estate Appraisers

Date: October 13, 2017

Case: San Diego Superior Court

Client: Eric Engstrom

Defendants: Bender-Rosenthal, Inc.

Settlement: $360,000

Legal Theory: Misclassified real estate appraisers

October 13, 2017, the JCL Law Firm obtained final class action settlement approval from the San Diego Superior Court. The JCL Law Firm settled a wage and hour class action on behalf of a class of 27 misclassified California real estate appraisers. The JCL Law Firm filed the class action complaint in the San Diego Superior Court alleging that the employer improperly classified the group of 27 real estate appraisers as independent contractors rather than employees. The employer’s unlawful practice denied its misclassified workers valuable legal protections like minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest breaks. After a little more than 1 year of litigation, the JCL Law Firm successfully reached a $360,000 settlement on behalf of the misclassified employees.

Failure To Reimburse Employees For Required Expenses

Date: March 8, 2019

Case: San Diego Superior Court case

Client: Misclassified house cleaners

Employer: Confidential

Settlement: $250,000.00

The JCL Law Firm obtained final settlement approval from the San Diego Superior Court for a $250,000 class action settlement on behalf of nearly 150 misclassified house cleaners. The JCL Law Firm filed the class action complaint in the California Superior Court alleging that the employer improperly classified a group of approximately 150 workers as independent contractors rather than employees. The employer’s unlawful practice denied its misclassified workers valuable legal protections like minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest breaks. After more than 1 year of litigation, the JCL Law Firm successfully reached a $250,000 settlement on behalf of the misclassified employees.

Hourly Hotel Employees – Off-The-Clock Work

Date: May 31, 2019

Case: San Diego Superior Court

Client: Hourly Hotel employee – banquets department

Employer: Confidential

Settlement: $510,000

The JCL Law Firm obtained preliminary settlement approval from the San Diego Superior Court for a $510,000 class action settlement on behalf of nonexempt hotel employees at a boutique Southern California hotel. The JCL Law Firm filed the class action complaint in the California Superior Court alleging that the employer failed to compensate the employees for required preshift tasks like obtaining uniforms and dressing into uniforms prior to clocking in for work. The complaint also alleged, among other things, that the employer failed to reimburse its hotel employees for personal cellphone expenses despite requiring the employees to use their personal cellphone in the performance of their job duties.