Court of Appeal holds that failure of employer to maintain sufficient records results in assumption of facts contrary to employer’s position

2021 case review: Morales v. Factor Surfaces LLC

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Plaintiff Morales, in 2016, accepted a full-time position at a flooring store. He had numerous duties related to the warehouse, including cleaning, accepting deliveries, making deliveries, and assisting customers. His hours were 8 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, and 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. When Plaintiff requested compensation for overtime hours, he was fired.

Mr. Morales sued for overtime hours, meal and break time payments, as well as claiming that he was unjustly terminated for complaining about not getting wages he was owed. At trial, Plaintiff was awarded $99,394.16, which included $42,792.00 in unpaid overtime wages.

Mr. Morales’ employer appealed, contending that the trial court was mistaken in the manner in which it calculated Morales’s regular rate of pay for purposes of determining the amounts owed to Morales for unpaid overtime, which was by dividing Plaintiff’s regular paycheck by 40, the amount of compensation for regular hours.

The Appellate Court held that to the extent the employer failed to keep records required by statute, the consequences for such failure should fall on the employer.