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California Wage Law Statute of Limitations

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What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit. California wage law statute of limitations answer the question, ”When can I bring a wages claim?” California has various statute of limitations for different types of wage claims.

Generally wage claims have a three year statute of limitations under California law. This includes waiting time penalties.

However, most wage claims can be extended to four years through UCL actions (read: 17200 claims). These are unfair competition claims.  Thus, I usually think of wage claims as having a 4 year statute of limitation period.

PAGA (Private Attorney General Act) claims have a one year statute of limitations.
Click here to find out more about PAGA clams.



 

Time limits for bringing wage claims based upon California State law


Not getting paid all the overtime you are - 3 years
 
Not getting paid minimum wage  - 3 years
 
Unpaid wages claims For all unpaid wages claims - 3 years
 
Not getting paid for all the time that you work - 3 years
 
Meal and rest breaks - 3 years
 
Waiting time penalties - 3 years
 
Not getting reimbursed for all business expenses - 3 years 
 
Paycheck stub violations - 3 years
 
For most California unpaid wage claims - you can extend the time to 4 years if you bring an unfair competition claim

What Does All Of This Mean?

1. If you suspect that you aren’t getting paid properly or that your employer or ex-employer is ripping off your wages, you should contact a seasoned California wage and hour lawyer as soon as possible. They will know California wage law statute of limitations.  

2. Under most circumstances, you can bring a claim against an ex-employer long after you stopped working there.  However, every day that you wait to bring your California wages claim, you are probably losing a day of wages.

3. An hour or two a day or a 30 minute lunch that is automatically deducted each day or missed meal and rest periods, all adds up pretty fast. Then when you throw in interest and waiting time penalties the money owed to you can really add up quickly.  Before you know it you are talking real money.

4. Most folks, included employers, have no idea what a wage violation is under California law. If you are the employee, you need to speak to a seasoned California wage and hour lawyer. I
f you are an employer you might have heard the expression: “Ignorance is no excuse under the law.”  That is certainly the case with most California wage laws.

5. This is your hard earned money. I call it wage theft for a reason. In essence, your employer or ex-employer has stolen your hard earned wages.  This is no more legal than being robbed at the ATM.  Only it is worse, in my estimate. When you are robbed at the ATM, you know that you were robbed. Most workers have no idea that they have had their wages ripped off.

Making the Law: Bill Turley helped draft the recent changes to PAGA laws

The Private Attorneys Generals Act (PAGA) is a case where aggrieved employees are, in effect, deputized to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. The PAGA laws were enacted because the State of California has inadequate resources to enforce California wage laws. 

Bill helped draft recent changes to the PAGA laws. Bill was the wage and hour lawyer that sat met with the Governor’s office to help write the new PAGA amendments. 

William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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