Posted on January 19, 2019 in Employment Law
If you are still not being paid by your employer, even after you have made a complaint, you have every right to sue. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers have to follow certain laws and respect their employees’ rights. Employees must be paid for work that they have done and they must be paid in a timely manner; otherwise, employees are entitled to workers’ compensation.
If you find yourself in a situation where your employer didn’t pay you for standard wages or even overtime hours, this is a breach of the employment agreement and there are a few things that you can do. As a worker who hasn’t received pay, possibly the best thing you could do to make sure that you do everything correctly and legally is to file a wage claim or to head to court and sue your employer.
The easier thing for employers out of the above two options, however, is to file a wage claim. Heading to court and suing your employer is difficult and a lot of people can feel like they are way in over their head. Therefore, it might be easier to just file a wage claim.
If you file a claim for unpaid wages, you can still get the money that you are owed, just like you were if you sued your employer yourself in court via a lawsuit. However, the more efficient way (especially if you don’t necessarily know what you are doing legally) is to just file a claim to receive your unpaid wages.
If you have not been paid in a timely manner after working, haven’t received vacation pay, or haven’t received other monies that are part of your employment contract, you can file a claim to receive your unpaid wages, as well as more money because your employer violated certain laws, as well as your own rights as an employee. It’s also important to note that you can file a claim if your employer hasn’t paid you any of what you are owed, or if your employer hasn’t paid you all of what you are owed. So, even if your employer paid you most but not all of what you should get, you can still file a claim to make sure that you are paid accurately.
To do this in California, you can file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. Thankfully, there is an office where you can do this in San Diego. There is a specific form that you need to make sure you feel out accurately, which can be found through the Labor Commissioner’s Office’s online portal.
Now, everybody’s situation is different, but you should always make sure that you feel comfortable and knowledgeable about what you are doing. If you are confused during any step, it really doesn’t hurt to ask for some professional, expert, or legal help. The last thing you want to do is inaccurately file a claim and end up not being able to get the wages you have every right to gain.
If you need help at any point, you should definitely seek some help, even if it is just to gain some help or insight while you file a claim. A lawyer can even file a claim through the California Labor Commissioner’s Office for you, to help speed the process up a bit while still making sure everything is accurate and legal. Just as we mentioned above, a lawyer can also make a case in court to sue your employer as well.
It’s important that you file a claim for your unpaid wages sooner rather than later, as the state of California only allows employees to seek unpaid wages within four years of not being paid. Also, if you are filing because of a contract issue (like your employer agreed to a contract to pay you $20 an hour, but they only ended up paying you $15), you also have four years to file. So, if you are seeking payment from work that you completed about five years ago, you sadly cannot legally do this. Therefore, file a claim to receive your earnings ASAP once you realize that you have not been paid—regardless of the amount.
There are other time-frames you should be aware of, as well. If you are filing a claim to receive earnings because of any violation your employer committed (such as break violations or pay stub violations), you have up to three years to file. After three years, you no longer can.
Regardless of the issue that drives you to file a claim for your unpaid wages, you should always make sure you complete this action sooner rather than later. You have every right to your earnings, and you should make sure that you follow the statute of limitations so that you can receive these earnings.
There are a variety of reasons why you can file a claim for unpaid wages. To simplify things and quickly run through these situations, here are the most common reasons why you can file:
If you find yourself relating to any of these issues above, it might be time to either file a claim for unpaid wages or, at the very least, seek some expert legal advice.
Should you find yourself subject to an employer who is refusing to pay the necessary and appropriate compensation, contact Walker Law today. As a specialist employment law firm based in San Diego, we will be able to give you professional advice to help take your case forward.