“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson
What to Do If You Think You Are Owed Unpaid Wages in California
If a manager or company is trying to intimidate you into accepting less than the full amount you have worked for, the first thing you need to do is be aware of your rights. You should be familiar with the state wage and hour laws to make sure you are getting all of the pay—including overtime and penalties—that your employer owes you. Additionally, if your employer dismisses your request, you can pursue legal options to get the full amount of compensation.
Why listen to me?
My name is Bill Turley. I am a wage and hour class action lawyer. In the past year I have been asked to repeatedly testify at the California State Senate and California State Assembly regarding proposed legislation on wage and hour law. I represented the workers in what many people believe is the biggest California Supreme Court case to help workers in wage cases - Brinker vs. Superior Court.
I am not tell you all of this to brag, but to let you know that I know California wage law.
Believe it or not, I am know as a straight-shooter. I am know for telling blunt, unfiltered unsweetened truth. This is why I am continually asked to testify before the California legislature. I tell it the way it is.
What to Do If You Believe You Are Owed Unpaid Wages
Too many workers are bullied into taking less than the full amount of their paychecks because they are afraid of being fired or given fewer hours. You should be aware that this practice is illegal. You have a right to demand the pay you have worked for without retaliation from your employer.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when confronting a California employer about unpaid wages:
- Request your pay from an employer in writing. Many employees make the mistake of having an unwitnessed conversation about pay with an employer instead of making a request in writing. A letter or even an email allows employees to have a timestamped record of the request and any responses can serve as evidence later.
- Show concrete dates, times, and compensation. Your written request should include a copy of your paystub, as well as any work calendars or schedules that conflict with it. Pay close attention to dates and workweeks, since too many hours worked in a single week entitles you to overtime pay.
- Follow up until you receive a response. Your employer may attempt to ignore your request, hoping that you will drop the issue. If you haven’t received a response within a week, send the email again, along with a notice stating that you could be owed penalties and interest under state law if the matter is not resolved.
You should always speak to a wage and hour attorney before pursuing a claim against your employer. Please feel free to use our website to learn more about California pay laws and how to get proper compensation for overtime.
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