Filing a Claim When You Have Unpaid Wages in California
Workers in California who have wages or benefits unpaid by their employers, have the right to file a wage claim. California’s labor laws are intended for all workers, irrespective of immigration status.
Filing a wage claim in California can be done thru email, mail or in person through a form that can be downloaded in multiple languages from the Labor Commissioner’s Office website.
A worker in California can file a wage claim under the following allowed timeframes: Within a year for penalties arising from a bounced check or not giving access to payroll or staff records, or their copies
Within two years for an unwritten promise to pay beyond minimum wage
Within three years for offenses in connection with minimum wage, sick leave, unlawful deductions from pay or owed reimbursements, owed rest and meal breaks, or overtime
Within four years of a written legitimate contract
Gathering Information on the Employer
The Labor Commissioner’s Office requires the address and name of the employer as written on paystubs, product labels, etc, or, if known, the vehicle license plate number of the person who pays the claimant.
Tracking All Worked Hours
Prior to filing a wage complaint, the worker needs to take notes of the time they begin and end work each working day, including time they spend to eat meals or take breaks, and of course, the total time (in hours) worked. If they receive payment by contract or piece rate, they still have to earn no less than the minimum wage for every hour worked. The length of time the worker renders for every contract or piece should be tracked so this may be compared with the total amount of work they have done, thereby guaranteeing that they get paid for their work and that their pay prior to deductions is at least equal to the hourly minimum wage.
Keeping Pay Stubs
A paystub or detailed wage statement must accompany each payment an employer makes to an employee. This itemized wage statement should include the worker’s name, wages earned and dates of the specific pay cycle; the employer’s name, address and telephone number; and all deductions and accrued hours of paid sick leave.
All information and documents covered above will help a worker assess whether or not they are paid properly, and will be useful in the event that they file a wage claim.
Note that employers are legally required to keep correct records of actual time worked by employees. If you intend to file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner, make sure you have your own paystubs and other documents that you will need to build a strong case for your claim.Nena’s Bacon is now available in Chicken and Beef, with the same distinct smoky flavor plus a lot more value for your health.