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How to File a Wage Claim in California

California workers have the right to file a wage claim when their employers don’t pay them the wages or benefits, they are owed. If you are being paid less than the minimum wage, have not received agreed-upon wages, or any other form of “wage theft,” you can file a wage claim against your employer. Filing a claim will help you collect those unpaid wages or benefits, regardless of your immigration status. Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys explain how to file a wage claim in California.

File Your Wage Claim in a Timely Manner

California workers only have a specific period of time to file a wage claim depending on their unique case. Your claim will get denied if you fail to file a claim within the time periods listed below:

  • If you are filing a claim for penalties regarding a bounced check or failing to provide access to payroll or personnel records, you have to file within one year.
  • If you are filing for an oral promise to pay more than minimum wage, you have to file within two years.
  • If you are filing for violations of the minimum wage, overtime, unpaid rest and meal breaks, sick leave, illegal deductions from pay, or unpaid reimbursements, you have to file within three years.
  • If you are filing for a written contract, you have to file within four years.

Gather Documentation

Before filing a claim, you will need to gather information for your case. The Labor Commissioner’s Office will need information on your employer, such as the company’s name or of the individual you work for. That information should be listed on paystubs or mailing labels. You should also track all your hours by writing down the time you begin, and end work every day. You should also track when you take mean and rest breaks or heat recovery breaks, and the total hours you worked, along with all of your pay stubs.

How to File a Wage Claim

Once you have gathered information about your employer and the documentation you need, the next step is to file a claim. You can file a claim by email, mail, or in-person from the Labor Commissioner’s Office. You are legally protected from retaliation by your employer when filing a wage claim.

Before you file, it is important to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you file your claim to ensure that you have the information needed to obtain the best possible results for your case.

Contact our Los Angeles employment law attorneys today at (213) 292-5444 to schedule a case review!