Not getting rightfully paid for the work you put into your job can not only be frustrating – it can be financially damaging, whether you’re an independent contractor, full time employee, or part time California worker. More than that, not getting paid is a violation of the state labor department.
We’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions our attorneys receive about not getting paid on time that can be a resource if you’re dealing with not being paid your wages:
Frequently Asked Questions:
how long can an employer not pay you? California law requires employers to pay wages immediately if they are terminated or if they resign with 72-hours notice. If employers fail to do so, they are liable to pay a waiting time penalty equal to the employee’s daily rate of pay for each day late, up to 30 days.
can you refuse to work if you haven’t been paid? Didn’t receive payment? Depending on the employment relationship, an employer could terminate your employment if you refuse to work. You may also be in breach of your employment contract if it specifies that you must work regardless of whether you have been paid. The best option is to file a wage claim and contact an employment law attorney so they can help guide you through the process of recouping your wages.
what happens if your employer doesn’t pay you? An employee can file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner’s Office), or work with an employment lawyer to sue their employer and recover the wages they are owed. Depending on the circumstance, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee could claim the waiting time penalty for a final paycheck.
what if my employer doesn’t pay me on time? If a paycheck is late, an employee may be able to file a wage claim to recover their wages. If an employer has an established payroll period and fails to pay a California employee on the scheduled payday, said employee can send a written notice to their employer requesting payment.
employer refuses to pay me? If an employer refuses to pay an employee for the pay period in which they worked, the employee can take legal action. Wage violations are illegal and an employment lawyer, like the ones at Lawyers for Justice, PC, can help enforce federal laws and state laws to get California workers the wages they are owed.
how to sue for unpaid wages? If you have hours worked or overtime work you were not paid for, you may be eligible to file a wage theft lawsuit against your employer. An employment law attorney can be the best resource in navigating overtime pay violations, wage and hour division issues, and wage laws. State and federal law for wage and hour cases can be confusing. The attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC offer a free consultation for California workers who have been taken advantage of in the workplace. Call (818) JUSTICE for a FREE consultation.
can i sue for unpaid wages? Yes. If your employer doesn’t provide a paycheck on your regular payday, you are entitled to recover the compensation you are owed. If the issue affects multiple employees within your company, a class action lawsuit may be a solution to collect the payment you are entitled to.
how to file a claim for unpaid wages? Filing a wage claim in California can be tricky. Usually, the first step is filling out a wage claim form, however for the uninitiated person, the form may appear to ask contradictory questions that can be confusing. Furthermore, any mistakes you make on the form may be used against you later and your employer’s lawyer may try to claim that you lied on your wage claim form. An LFJ attorney can guide you through the process and make filing a claim much more streamlined.
who do i contact about unpaid wages? You can send your employer a written correspondence requesting payment (which you can also use as a record), but you can also reach out to an employment law attorney at Lawyers for Justice, PC so they can help you recover the unpaid wages.
how much can you sue for unpaid wages? There are a number of different damages (or compensation you can recover in a lawsuit) that an employee can sue for, which can include: your regular rate of pay, overtime pay, interest on unpaid wages, and also court fees associated with the lawsuit. Each case is different and a lawyer will be able to best guide you in what you can recover – and for how much.
what are unpaid wages? Unpaid wages are uncompensated hours of work and/or unpaid bonuses or commissions that employees did not receive.
what are my rights if my employer doesn’t pay me? According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, “you may try to recover your unpaid wages separately by filing an individual wage claim. If you file a wage claim and the Labor Commissioner orders your employer to pay you wages, you can try to collect wages directly from your employer.”
can i sue my employer for not paying me overtime? Yes, if overtime laws are in breach, former employees or current employees can sue for not receiving their overtime payment.