Suing For Unpaid Wages, California

It is totally unfair for an employee to work and not get paid; employees have bills and rent to pay. Employees suing for unpaid wages in California can get help from an employment attorney.

Brad Nakase, Attorney

Email  |  Tel (888) 600-8654

Can you sue a company for not giving you what you paid for?

In order to financially survive in the world, one must get a job and be paid for that service. Thankfully, these wages (cost of completing service, task, or specific job) are ensured by law.

Wages is defined as payment in exchange for labor. Labor is defined to include, “labor, work, or service whether rendered or performed under contract … or other agreement if the labor to be paid for is performed personally by the person demanding payment.” Basically, labor includes any work performed for the benefit of an employer. However, sometimes the issue arises as to when payments must be made and what happens if payments are late. Can you sue a company for not giving you what you paid for? In California, suing for unpaid wage is an appropriate course of action.

How long does an employer have to pay you after payday in California?

Most payments are paid bi-monthly, or twice a month. Specifically, employers usually pay their employees the 1st and 15th of the month. However, some employees, specifically those salaried and covered under the Fair Labors Standards Act, may be paid once per month. This occurs with some teachers; they are paid at the first of the month for the entire month. Overtime, time worked over expected shifts, must be paid no later than the next payday in order to be determined as on time.

How long can an employer hold your check after termination?

Issues and fears usually arise when being fired or let go from a specific position. People wonder how and when will they be paid for the time worked before this termination. California sets out guidelines in order to protect both the employee and employer. If an employee is fired or terminated, payment for work done that has yet to be paid for is due immediately. For example, if you worked three shifts at a restaurant and haven’t been paid since the first of the month, you are due that three shift payment the moment of termination. However, if you are laid off, the time period is not immediate but rather in a reasonable time as long as that period does not exceed 72 hours.

If an employer does not follow the California paycheck law, you can sue for unpaid wages. For each day the employee wage is not paid, the employee will accrue her daily wages until payment is made. However, this accrual cannot exceed 30 days.

Please contact us if you believe you have been wronged and have unpaid wages. Handing the problem internally would allow both parties to understand each other and end the issue quickly. However, if this is not an option or it has already been taken and failed, you can sue the employer for unpaid wages. A court may deem compensatory damages as well as punitive especially if the employer has been fined previously or willfully withheld the overdue unpaid wages for an unlawful reason. However, due to statute of limitations, or deadline for filing an unpaid wage case, it is important and dire to ensure you have taken and spoken with an unpaid lawyer as soon as you see an issue.

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At Will Employment

At will employment means that the employer or the worker may end the employment relationship at any time. When an employment is at will, the employer can terminate employees for no reason.

Can You Get Fired for Looking for Another Job?

Firing an employee for looking for another job is legal under California Labor Code § 2922. Employees in California are employed on an “at-will” which means the employee or employer can terminate the working relationship at any time for any reason.

Can an employee be terminated while on medical leave?

It depends on the reason the employee is on medical leave. Under the FMLA, an employee cannot be terminated simply because they take leave. An employee is free to take medical leave without fear of losing their job. However, if there is a reason unrelated to the medical leave, an employer does have the right to terminate an employee.

Can Slack Admins Read DMs?

Yes. Slack admin and employer can read every DMs, private channels, private messages sent between team members. Employers on either Slack's free tier or paid tier need to submit a request to Slack before they can access your private chats.

Four Hour Minimum Pay

Yes - under California employment law, when an employee is scheduled to work an eight-hour shift, and the work is canceled, the employer must pay a minimum of four hours.

How far back do PAGA claims go?

A PAGA claim is generally one year from the date of the last employment law violation on which the PAGA claim is based.

FICA Withholding: What is FICA tax on my paycheck?

What is FICA tax on my paycheck? FICA is a federal wage tax. FICA taxes requires withholding from an employee’s gross earnings: 6.2% for social security and 1.45% for Medicare. The employer matches these percentages for a total of 15.3%.

Why Does EDD Do a Benefit Audit?

The EDD conducts benefit audits to help pay Unemployment Insurance benefits to only eligible claimants only, prevents fraud in the UI program, and helps companies control UI costs. The EDD’s responsibility is to collect payroll taxes and conduct payroll audits of businesses.

What Does PAGA Mean in a Lawsuit?

The word PAGA is an acronym for the Private Attorney General Act, which is the Labor Code that authorizes employees to file a lawsuit to recover civil penalties for themselves and other employees. PAGA confers a private right of action to individuals to prosecute under PAGA and incentivizes the employee to keep 25% of collected civil penalties.

What does an employment lawyer do?

An employment lawyer help employers and employees understand their respective rights and obligations, such as wages, wrongful termination, overtime, PTO, disability, discrimination, harassment, etc.

Can my employer call my doctor?

Generally, yes, your employer can call your doctor; however, the questions your employer ask is limited and protected by HIPAA Privacy Law. Your employer has the right to contact your doctor to verify the authenticity of a doctor’s note but cannot ask about your medical condition or diagnosis.

Can I Be Fired for Work Restrictions?

State and federal laws protect employees from employers firing employees because of work restrictions. If you’re fired at work, please get in touch with our employment attorney for a free consultation on work restrictions ignored by the employer.

What Qualifies as an EEOC Complaint?

The EEOC is a federal agency that investigates workplace discrimination and harassment based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, medical status, and disability. There are time limits for filing a complaint with the EEOC.

EEOC Complaint Process

Before filing an EEOC complaint, employees should understand the entire EEOC complaint process. This article answers many Frequently Asked Questions on the EEOC complaint process.

Do guys get paid paternity leave?

A father is eligible for paternity leave if three conditions are met: 1) welcome a new child within the first twelve months; 2) Paid into the State Disability Insurance; 3) Has not taken more than eight weeks of paternity leave in the past twelve months.

California PTO Payout Law

California law declares vacation time to be earned wages, and vacation time is accumulated as work is performed. So, an employee who has the right to ten days of vacation per year will after six months of work earn five days of vacation time.

Suing For Unpaid Wages California

It is totally unfair for an employee to work and not get paid; employees have bills and rent to pay. Employees suing for unpaid wages in California can get help from an employment attorney.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Lawyer To Sue My Employer?

People often ask me how much does an employment lawyer cost? Employees generally have claims against the employer, and an employment lawyer typically works on a contingent fee - meaning there is no fee unless the lawyer wins the employee's case.

Employee Management

Employee management is the process of aid employees to do their best work daily to achieve the company’s goal. Employee management helps improve employee satisfaction and productivity to help a company achieve its overall goals.

Is It Legal To Pay Employees Cash Under the Table?

Paying employees in cash is not illegal but frequently employers do not comply with employment laws concerning paying in cash. Employees' lawsuit against the employer for paying in cash has resulted in settlements averaging $100,000.

What is a demand letter?

A demand letter is a letter that is commonly written by a lawyer on behalf of a client setting forth facts supporting a demand for money. A demand letter is usually the first step in resolving a dispute between two opposing parties.

EEOC Discrimination

Learn about the various types of EEOC-prohibited discrimination. The EEOC protects employees from discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, etc.

Standard PTO Policy for Small Business

A standard PTO for small businesses depends on the years an employee worked for the company. On average, the standard PTO for one to five years is ten days and six to ten years averages fifteen days.

Retaliation for Reporting Harassment at Work

An employer who punishes an employee who reported sexual harassment in the workplace violates state and federal law and is liable for retaliation. Examples of retaliation include demotion, fewer working hours, segregation, or termination.

Obscene and Sexual Gestures a Work

We're not talking about the ubiquitous middle finger that says fuck you. Obscene and sexual gestures at work may include two fingers in a V shape, with a tongue in between. 

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

One of the most common types of sexual harassment is Quid pro quo sexual harassment, and it is one of the easiest to hide. All types of workplace sexual harassment are illegal.

Reporting Time Pay

Wages are what we mean when we use the term "reporting time pay." If employers do not pay all of this at the moment of an employee being terminated, there may be waiting time penalties involved.

Can I Sue My Employer For Not Paying Me Correctly?

Employees work hard and deserve to be paid correctly, and on time. It sucks when an employee works hard, and long hours only to be paid incorrectly while the boss is driving a Lambo or Benz.
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