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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 covers all workers, no matter their 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.

Timing Rules

A worker must take note of the following allowed timeframes when filing a wage claim in California: Within one year for penalties due to a bounced check or inability to provide access to payroll or employee records or copies thereof

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 valid written contract

Gathering Employer Information

The Labor Commissioner’s Office will want the address and name of the company as it can be found paystubs, mailing labels, etc, or the vehicle license plate number of the individual who pays the claimant.

Tracking All Worked Hours

When filing a wage complaint, a worker must take note of the time they start and end every work day, including when they have meal or breaks, and the total time worked in hours. 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 amount of time the worker spends on every contract or piece must be monitored so it can be compared with the total work they have completed, hence ensuring that they are paid for the work they rendered and that their pay before deductions is equivalent to no less than the hourly minimum wage.

Keeping Pay Stubs

Every time a worker is paid, the employer should provide a paystub or detailed wage statement. This detailed wage statement needs to come complete with the name of the employee, together with earned wages and the dates of the specific pay cycle; the name, address and telephone number of the company; and all deductions, as well as hours of paid sick leave accrued.

All such information and documents mentioned above will help a worker see if they are paid properly, and will be helpful when they decide to file a wage claim.

Take note that employers are legally obliged to keep accurate records of their workers’ actual times worked. If you’re thinking of filing a wage claim, be prepared with your paystubs and other relevant documents that can strengthen your claim before the Labor Commissioner.Nena’s Bacon is now available in Chicken and Beef, with the same distinct smoky flavor plus a lot more value for your health.

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