November 1, 2022
Have you recently discovered that your current (or former) employer did not pay you all of your wages? Perhaps you always knew that there was something wrong with your salary and paychecks, but you did not know your rights or did not have enough information to verify your suspicions.
After years of work, there could be thousands of back wages that you deserve but have not yet received. Your employer may owe you salaries in these cases:
- Minimum Wage Violations: California’s minimum wage is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In certain states, employers can pay employees less than the minimum wage if they receive enough tips to make up the difference (called a “tip credit”). However, California does not allow a tip credit.
- Unpaid overtime: In California, employees are entitled to time and a half if they work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week; they are also entitled to time and a half during the first eight hours on their seventh consecutive workday.
- Unpaid breaks and time off: California grants employees the right to one 30-minute unpaid meal break and one paid 10-minute break for every four hours (or a significant fraction of four hours) worked.
Is it possible to do something in this situation? If so, will you be able to collect all that is owed to you?
California has some limitations on how long you can go back on an unpaid wage claim. The first thing to keep in mind is that you can file a lawsuit against a current or former employer. Second, you should know that you have up to four years – depending on the circumstances – to file your claim.
What do you need to make a claim?
It is beneficial to have supporting documents to make your claim. Some possible documents that you could use are:
- Work time records
- Returned paychecks
- Pay stubs and paychecks
- Employment information notice
Note: Unpaid wages may include unpaid commissions, unpaid vacations, and unpaid reimbursements for work expenses.