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How can I prove that my employer owes me unpaid wages?

Knowledge & Evidence

In order to get compensation for a wage and hour violation, you need two things: you must know how state and federal wage and hour laws apply to you, and you must be able to prove how much you have worked and how much you have been paid.

How to Gather Evidence for a Wage and Hour Claim

It is vital that you have concrete proof that your employer owes you wages that you have not received. Usually, this can be done in the following ways:

  • Keep detailed records of the hours you work. You shouldn’t rely on just your pay stub to tell you when and where you worked. Always keep your own schedule in a separate calendar that can be used to double-check your hours against your employer’s records.
  • Gather any additional evidence. Last-minute schedule changes and shift-swapping can cause confusion in payroll, but that doesn’t excuse an employer from paying your wages. If you traded shifts or worked at an alternate location, contact the other employee or manager who can confirm the time you worked.
  • Check your classification. Some employees are ineligible for overtime based on the income they earn or the tasks they perform. If your employer has classified you as exempt when you are not, you could be owed back pay dating all the way back to your hire date.
  • Check additional pay categories. Employers are required to pay workers for any unused vacation or paid time off after a worker leaves employment, so always make sure your leave balances have been accounted for.
  • Take note of dates. Not only are employees entitled to full and accurate pay, they have a right to receive these payments within a reasonable amount of time. Check your calendar closely to see if you could be owed interest on your unpaid wages as well as an additional waiting time penalty.

After you have collected this evidence, you should speak with an attorney to determine if you have a valid wage and hour claim. Under California law, you can collect unpaid overtime for up to three years prior to the date you file your claim, so it is vital that you act quickly. Please feel free to use our website to learn how to get proper compensation under California pay laws.

Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley

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