How Unpaid Wages Are Handled In CA

When you perform a job for your employer, you expect them to pay you. More often than not, employers do pay their employees, but some do not. While some employers legitimately believe that they have paid their employees and don’t owe them anything, some are not honest and don’t mind cheating their employees out of unpaid wages.

If you are owed unpaid wages and your employer is not being cooperative, here’s what you need to know.

How do You Collect Unpaid Wages in California?

Workers employed in California have the right to formally request compensation for unpaid wages by filing a wage claim when their employer fails to pay them the wages or benefits that are rightfully theirs. When the employee files a wage claim, it starts a process intended to allow the employee to collect unpaid wages and benefits owed to them.

The wage claim can be filed in person, online, by US mail, or by email with the Labor Commissioner’s Office.

It’s important to note that ALL workers are protected by California’s labor laws, regardless of their immigration status.

How Long Does an Employer have to Pay an Employee After Payday?

Under California law, employees are entitled to be paid twice a month or more. Employers also must ensure employees are paid by certain dates for each pay period.  For instance, if employees’ timesheets for payroll are entered for the 1st to the 15th of the month, then the very latest an employer may set the pay date is the 26th of that month. The second pay date for work performed from the 16th through the end of that same month must be paid no later than the 10th day of the following month.

When Does An Employer Have To Pay You If You Are Fired Or You Quit?

California employers must follow specific timeframes when issuing final wages to employees who were either fired or quit

  • The employee is terminated or laid off
    • Payment of all wages is required at the place of termination on the same day they were terminated
  • Employee quits
    • With 72 hours’ notice
      • Payment of all wages is required on their last day
    • Without 72 hours’ notice (they quite the same day as notice)
      • Payment of all wages is required within 72 hours of their notice

 When Should You Get A Lawyer?

The best time to get a lawyer for your unpaid wages case is when you decide to file the claim. The sooner you get legal representation the better. Even if your claim process seems to be going smoothly, that can change in an instant.

You will want an attorney if your employer won’t give you the documentation you need for hours worked or if your claim is denied. But there are many other reasons it makes sense to have a lawyer on your side.

Employment law attorneys know California employment law and they have the experience necessary to manage any issue that may arise during your case.

If you are planning to file a claim to get your unpaid wages, hire the California employment law firm that cares about you and your situation. Hire us. Don’t wait, call today.

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