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Can California Employers Owe Penalties for Late Paychecks?

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When California Employers Fail to Pay Employees on Time

I don't have to tell you how tough it is when you're not paid your wages on time. It's extremely stressful. The folks that you owe money to and the grocery store don't care that you haven't been paid. You have to pay bills, rent, mortgage, gas, phone, buy food, pay utilities, etc. whether you're paid on time or not.  When you're not paid what you're owed, you need to know what you can do about it.  

This webpage tells you what the law is when you're not paid on time in California, what your legal rights are and, most importantly, what you can do about it in order for you to get paid your wages. 

In this article our California wage and hour lawyers answer your questions about what you can do when you're not paid the wages that you are owed.  Information is power.  This article can help you get paid the wages you are owed. 

California has powerful laws that protect you when you're not paid the money you have earned as an employee. You have to be willing to use these powerful laws when you're owed the money that you've earned. You need to use these powerful California wage laws to stand up for your right to be paid the wages that you've earned. 

This article answers these questions (and many more): 

I work in California and my paycheck is late - what can I do?

What can I do if the Company doesn't pay me on time?

Can California workers collect penalties for late paychecks?

Am I owed a penalty if my regular pay is late? 

Am I owed a penalty if my final paycheck is late? 

What are the rules for the time of payment of wages in California? 

What can I do if I'm not paid for hours that I worked? Not getting paid for hours worked laws

My employer owes me money, what can I do? ...How to sue your employer for unpaid wages?

When you're fired, do you have to be paid at the place where you are fired?

When you quit, do you have to be paid in the County where you have been performing  your labor?

What if I need help right now with getting my pay?

Can I bring a lawsuit or a claim for unpaid wages if I don't work at the company anymore? 

What are California's Wage and Hour Laws?

What can I do if the Company doesn't pay me the wages I am owed?

What is an unpaid wages analysis? 

How do I claim my confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis?

What do I need to know about California rest break law?

Am I owed waiting time penalties?

What do I need to know about California meal break law?

What  if don't get paid for all time that I worked?

What do I need to know about California overtime law?

What are California minimum wage laws? 

How can I calculate the unpaid wages that I am owed?

What are my time limits for bringing an unpaid wages case (statutes of limitations for wage cases)? 

Am I owed wages if I was misclassified as an independent contractor?

What is time shaving?

How do I gather evidence I need to win my California unpaid wages case?

What are the California Wage Orders (and why they are important to me?

PAGA penalties: How can I receive PAGA penalties?

What do I need to know about Private Attorneys General Act Violations?

Is a PAGA lawsuit similar to a class action lawsuit because it is a collective action for all employees? 

Are PAGA actions designed to protect employees and penalize employers for illegal conduct?  

What PAGA penalties are owed to me due to my employer failing to pay me? 

How do I bring a wage lawsuit/ wage claim in California?

How do I file an individual wage lawsuit in California? 

How do I file an unpaid wages class action lawsuit in California?  

How do I bring an wages arbitration claim in California?

How do I file a PAGA lawsuit for unpaid wages?

How do I bring a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner's office? 

What if I have more questions about how to get the wages that I am owed?

I work in California and my paycheck is late - what can I do?

If you work in California and you aren't paid on time, you need to know your legal rights.  The first thing you need to know is that California has very strict laws that require the company to pay you on time and pay you the money that you are owed.  The California Labor Code and Wage Orders protect you. You just have to be willing to do something about it.  The first step is understanding the law. The next step is taking action. 

You can do a lot. The first step is knowing your legal rights for wages under California law. The second step is doing something about it. 

Protester holding sign - Wage Theft Stops Here

 

What Can I Do if the Company Doesn't Pay Me on Time?

California labor laws require most workers to be paid at least twice per month. California law also dictates that you should be paid on time and be paid the full amount that you are owed each payday. But what happens if your employer makes you wait for your paycheck? What can you do about that?

Turns out, there is a lot that can be done.  California has some of the strongest worker protection laws in the United States. How do I know this?  I helped make these laws. I represented the workers in what many people believe is the biggest and most important wage protection case by the California Supreme Court  - Brinker vs. Superior Court -  and I wrote winning briefs in other recent California Supreme Court decisions - Augustus vs. ABM and Williams vs. Superior Court. I helped draft recent changes to the California Labor Code that help protect your wages. I regularly testify before the California State Senate and California Assembly on unpaid wages legislation.

I'm not telling you this to brag, but so you'll know two things. First, that I am an authority on this area of the law and that I know what I'm talking about. Second, so you'll know that my heart is with you - workers that haven't been paid what  you are owed.

The reason why California law protects you is that the Courts know what it's like to not be paid on time. The California Supreme Court realizes how tough it is when you can't make your rent or put food table because you weren't paid what you're owed on time.  When this happens, the law helps you get tough on the company that didn't pay you. That's when California's strong worker protection laws come in. And, that's where I come in - I help folks get paid the money they are owed.

Can California Workers Collect Penalties for Late Paychecks?

Under most circumstances, you may be entitled to penalties if you're paid late.

Am I owed a penalty if my regular pay is late? 

If your employer does not have a valid reason for withholding your pay, the company may be liable for a penalty of $100 for the first violation and an additional $200 penalty for each subsequent violation under Labor Code section 210. The employer may also be ordered to pay an additional 25% of the amount that has been withheld from you based on the circumstances. Even if the employee and employer disagree about the amount of wages that are owed, the employer must pay the full amount of undisputed wages on time to avoid penalties.

Overtime pay.

Unlike regular pay, there is a grace period for the payment of overtime wages. If your overtime hours are not included in the paycheck for the period in which they were earned, they must be paid no later than the next regular paycheck.

 

Am I owed a penalty if my final paycheck is late? 

The penalties for failing to pay an employee his or her final paycheck are much steeper than those of regular paychecks. Also called waiting time penalties, these could amount to 30 full days of pay if the check is late. As a result, most companies issue a final paycheck to workers on their last day of employment or within three days of the employee’s final shift.

The penalty for not paying all wages owed at time of termination can be quit substantial. 

For example, if you earn $15 an hour, and the your employer didn't pay you any wages (it can be as little as $5), the waiting time penalty would be $3,600. 

Exceptions

Employers may have valid defenses in some cases where your pay is late. These are few and far between, but there are a few exceptions. For instance, if the employee failed to provide the employer with a correct address, the late payment is not the fault of the employer. There are also exceptions for employees who earn executive salaries or work on commission. For all other employees, the rules and penalties for late paychecks are described on this webpage. 

 

Getting your check for unpaid wages!

What can I do if In'm not paid wages I am owed in California? Suing an employer for unpaid wages


What are the rules for the time of payment of wages in California? 

Here are the rules for the timing of the payment of your wages in California for workers paid twice a month: 

Generally, you must be paid at least twice during each calendar month. California Labor Code Section 204(a).

Work performed between the 1st and 15th of the month must be paid on regular paydays between the 16th and 26th of the month.

Work performed between the 16th and end of the month must be paid between the 1st and 10th of the following month.  California Labor Code Section 204(a).

Wages for overtime work must be paid no later than the next regular payroll wage. California Labor Code Section 204(b)(1).

If you are covered by a CBA / Union Agreement you must be paid in accordance to the CBA. California Labor Code Sections 204-204.2.

Here are the rules for time of the payment of your wages in California for workers paid weekly:

Generally, you must be on a weekly basis on a regular payday designated in advance as the regular payday.

Work performed during any calendar week and prior to or on the regular payday must be paid for no later than the regular payday falling during the following calendar week.  California Labor Code Sections 204b. 

If you're not paid your wages in a timely basis pursuant to California Labor Code Section 204 and 204b - it is a violation of California Labor Code Section 210 and California PAGA laws. 

 

What can I do if I'm not paid for hours that I worked? ... Not getting paid for hours worked laws

One of the questions that we are frequently asked is, “My employer didn’t pay me what can I do?”

It turns out you can do a lot. Under California law, you can bring a claim for unpaid wages. California employers must pay you for all of the time that you work. California has some of the strongest worker protection laws in the U.S.

California has a “suffer or permit” to work standard.  Martinez v. Combs, 49 Cal. 4th 35, 64 (2010).   Meaning, that if you work, then your employer has to pay you for that time.

Generally, you are owed wages at “the agreed upon rate.” Meaning, if your employer usually pays you $17 an hour or told you that is what you would be paid, then you are owed $17 an hour when you work.

You are owed 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for overtime work (for most workers this is over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week) and double your regular rate of pay for double time (over 12 hours a day).

If you are paid wages at less than the minimum wage (for example, when you are not paid for hours or time that you worked) - then you are entitled to liquidated damages. California Labor Code Section 1994.2.  Which is double the minimum wage. Thus, if you earn less than double the minimum wage per hour, you may be better off claiming minimum wage for all hours worked that you haven't been paid for. 

My employer owes me money what can I do? ...How to sue your employer for unpaid wages?

Here is how you can sue your employer for paying you incorrectly in California. You have four options on how to sue your employer under California law when the company doesn’t pay you wages that you are owed.


First, under California law you can bring an individual wage lawsuit. Second, you can bring a class action lawsuit for unpaid wages. Third, you can file a PAGA lawsuit for penalties for Labor Code violations and Wage Order violations. Fourth, you can bring a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s office.

I discuss all of these in more depth later in this article. I explain the relative advantages and disadvantages of each of these options on how to sue your employer for unpaid wages.

I suggest that you speak with the best, honest wage lawyer that you can find. That way, you can make sure that you are choosing the best option for you and your case. In the meantime, you may also want to read this article in order to help you understand these issues.

When you're fired, do you have to be paid at the place where you are fired?

Under California law, when you are discharged (read: fired, let go, laid off or the like), your employer must pay you at the place of place of discharge. Meaning, you have to be handed your final check. If this doesn't happen - then your employer has violated California Labor Code Section 208. 

When you quit, do you have to be paid in the County where you have been performing  your labor?

Under California law, when you quit, you must be paid at the office or agency of employment in the county where you have been performing labor. 

What if I need help right now with getting paid?

Call 619-304-1000 or fill out the contact form on this web page. 

 

Can I bring a lawsuit or a claim for unpaid wages if I don't work at the company anymore? 
Yes.  Depending on what the statute of limitations is (that is, the time limit to bring your wages claim); you can certainly sue a former company for unpaid wages in California. If you worked for the company within the last 4 years, you probably have valid wage claims. However, you shouldn't wait if you figure out that the company you used to work for, owes you money for unpaid wages. 

Some Quick Examples:

Paycheck is late

Marisa works in a warehouse.  She was supposed to be paid last Friday. Her paycheck is 5 days late.

California State law established detailed requirements concerning the payment of wages - including the time, place and manner of paying you your wages. Wages earned by California employees must be paid precisely in accordance with the California Labor Code provisions. This is a violation of California Labor Code Section 204 and/or 204b - which require that minimum wages and overtime compensation be paid promptly on your regular payday.

As the California Supreme Court stated in Kerr's Catering Service v. Department of Industrial Relations, “California courts have recognized the public policy in favor of full and  prompt payment of wages due an employee.”

When you're not paid your wages on time, you can't pay your bills.  The pressure can be unbearable.

The California Supreme court gets it - they upheld the penalty wage law by stating "Delay of payment or loss of wages results in deprivation of the necessities of life, suffering inability to meet just obligations to others..."

In addition, this is also a PAGA violation. You may recover $100 per employee for the initial violation and $200 per employee for all subsequent violations (please see below for more on PAGA violations).

 

Not paid final wages on time

Chuck works for a rental car company. The company illegally calculated and paid the overtime rate on the bonuses and incentives to Chuck and the other workers. Including the bonuses and incentives, Chuck averaged making $840 a week and he worked 5 days a week.

Chuck stopped working for the company. It is six months later and the company still hasn't paid Chuck.

Based on these facts, the company owed Chuck to the unpaid overtime on the bonuses and incentives. In addition, the rental car company owes Chuck for 30 days of waiting time penalties. Which is 30 days of wages.

$840 divided by 5 days = $168

$169 x 30 days = $5,040

Thus, the rental car company owes Chuck $5,040 in waiting time penalties.

This is just one example, you are also entitled to waiting time penalties if you don't receive legally compliant meal breaks, work off the clock or don't get paid overtime correctly.

No guarantees in life or law

You need to understand there are no guarantees in life or law. Every case is different. Past successes in cases don’t guarantee success in your case and/or future cases. As always you should consult with a seasoned honest wage theft lawyer. Nothing in this Newsletter should be construed as legal advice.

What are California's Wage and Hour Laws?

California has two main sources of laws that govern the wages, hours and working conditions of California workers.  The first is the California Labor Code. The second are what are referred to as "California Wage Orders." 

When a company illegally fails to pay workers on time, then that is usually an indicator of other California Labor Code violations. It's the old "where there is smoke there is fire."  Thus, when workers aren't paid their wages on time, it is always a good idea to keep an eye out on additional California wage law violations. 

You may also be entitled for money for pay stub violations/ paycheck violations

Need help right now?

Call us at 619-304-1000  - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.

Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new wage case" in your text. 

Or leave us a message on this web page

 

What can I do if the Company doesn't pay me the wages I am owed?

 
California labor laws require the company to pay you all the wages that you are owed. You must be paid your wages, in full amount owed to you, at least twice a month.
When a California company fails to pay you the wages you are owed, there is a lot that you can do. In another section in this article, I lay out the ways that you can collect for unpaid wages in California.
 
Here are links to articles on all the wages and penalties you may be entitled to under California wage laws:

What is an unpaid wages analysis? 

In order to find out how much in wages that you are owed you should get an unpaid wages audit. 

How do I claim my confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis?

It's an easy process to get your confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages audit.  So you can have peace of mind that you can recover wages that you are osed. 

What do I need to know about California rest break law?

As it turns out, most companies don't follow California's strict California rest break laws. You may be owed an hour's pay every time a rest break wasn't provided to you. 

Am I owed waiting time penalties?

When you aren't paid all of your wages at time of termination, you may be entitled to 30 days pay. 

What do I need to know about California meal break law?

Many companies and industries in California don't follow California's strict meal break laws. You may be owed an hour's pay for every time a meal break wasn't provided to you. 

What  if don't get paid for all time that I worked?

Under California law, you must be paid for all time that you are "suffered or permitted to work." You must be paid for all time that you are under the direction or control of your employer. You must be paid for all time that you are under any duties of your employer.  

What you are going to see is that many, many employees in California aren't getting paid for all time that that they "work" (using these definitions under California law).  This is why you should have an unpaid wages audit. To see if you are owed unpaid wages. 

What do I need to know about California overtime law?

California has very strict overtime rules. California's overtime rules are far more strict than Federal law. Many employers in California don't pay all the overtime that is required under California overtime law. 

What are California minimum wage laws? 

What many folks don't understand is that California's minimum wage laws probably apply to them whenever they are not paid for all the time that they work. 

How can I calculate the unpaid wages that I am owed?

Figuring out how much in wages that you are owed is important. 

What are my time limits for bringing an unpaid wages case (statutes of limitations for wage cases)

California wage laws have time limits for when you can file a claim for unpaid wages. 

Misclassification / Independent Contractors: Am I owed wages if I was misclassified as an independent contractor?

Many workers in California are misclassified as "independent contractor" when they are really employees. This can mean a lot of wages are owed to you in overtime pay, meal period premiums, rest break premiums, paycheck violations and waiting time penalties. 

What is time shaving?

Many companies illegally deduct time from the timekeeping records that document how many hours you work. 

How do I gather evidence I need to win my California unpaid wages case?

Getting together the evidence you need to win your wage case doesn't have to be difficult. 

What are the California Wage Orders (and why they are important to me?

Each California industry has a wage order the dictates your wages, hours and working conditions under California law. 

PAGA penalties: How can I receive PAGA penalties?

 

What do I need to know about Private Attorneys General Act Violations?

(This is important - don't skip this section - -if you want to know about all the money you may be owed if you aren't paid on time in California) 

 

Under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) your employer may also be liable for very substantial PAGA penalties for failing to pay you your wages on time. Under PAGA for an initial violation is $100 per employee per pay period, and the penalty for each subsequent violation is $200 per employee per pay period.  The penalty is awarded against the employer. However, in addition, you may be able to hold the company executives liable under PAGA for the company's failure to pay you. 

I know this area of the law very well, because I helped draft the recent changes to the PAGA laws and I have testified before the California State Senate on PAGA. 

Is a PAGA lawsuit similar to a class action lawsuit because it is a collective action for all employees? 

California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) allow California employees to act as a private attorney general in order to represent the State of California against the company in order to enforce California Labor laws. The PAGA laws are extremely important, today, to protect California workers.

Are PAGA actions designed to protect employees and penalize employers for illegal conduct?  

A PAGA lawsuit is an enforcement action, with the aggrieved employee acting as a Private Attorney General to collect penalties from employers who violate California unpaid wage laws. A PAGA action is a law enforcement action designed to protect the public and penalize employers for past illegal conduct. PAGA penalties are discretionary.  

What PAGA penalties are owed to me due to my employer failing to pay me? 

For the PAGA enforcement penalties that are recovered, 75% goes to the State of California and 25% go to you, “aggrieved employees.”  

Under PAGA for an initial violation is $100 per employee per pay period, and the penalty for each subsequent violation is $200 per employee per pay period.  The penalty is awarded against the employer.

Thus, for each initial violation, you may be entitled to $25 for each violation per pay period and $50 for each subsequent violation per pay period.  

Clients with Smiles and Settlement Checks from a California unpaid wages case
What makes this all worthwhile - when employees receive their checks for unpaid wages!
 

Who is Bill Turley?

Bill Turley helped write the new PAGA laws

It is important that you make sure the lawyer that you hire is an expert in the area of law that you hire them for. I helped write the new PAGA laws. Bill is the lawyer that is regularly asked to testify before the California State Assembly and California State Senate on unpaid wages legislation.

Bill Turley testyfing at the California Senate PAGA Hearing

 

Bill Turley was the workers lawyer in the most important California Supreme Court case - Brinker vs. Superior Court

Many lawyers say that the Brinker California Supreme Court case is the most important California Supreme Court for California unpaid wages law. In the Brinker case the California Supreme Court.  The Brinker case  is the historic case that gave workers like you powerful rights to meal breaks and rest breaks in California.

Bill also wrote the winning Supreme Court briefs in the Augustus vs. ABM California Supreme Court case (extending the same duties employers have to provide meal breaks to rest breaks) and the Williams vs. Superior Court California Supreme Court case (allowing employees the right to obtain the contact information for other employees in PAGA and unpaid wages class action cases).

Bill testyfing at California Assembly - PAGA - what you should do when you aren't paid your wages

Bill Turley testifying on wage theft at the California legislature  
 

Bill Turley is known for Being a Straight Shooter

This is why Bill Turley is continually asked to go to Sacramento in order to work on wage theft issues with the California State Assembly, California State Senate, the State of California Labor Commissioner’s Office, and the California Attorney General’s office. Bill is known for telling it like it is. They know Bill will be straight with them in helping protect workers from company's that take advantage of workers. 

Bill doesn't work for any of these government organizations. He only works for you. But all of these government organization turn to Bill when they need advice on unpaid wages law.

How do I bring a wage lawsuit/ wage claim in California?

There are five ways to bring a wage claim in California.

  1. An individual wage lawsuit
  2. An unpaid wages class action lawsuit
  3. A wages arbitration claim
  4. A PAGA Lawsuit
  5. A claim with the California Labor Commissioners Office
 

How do I file an individual wage lawsuit in California?  

 
First, file a wage lawsuit just for yourself in California Superior Court. What you are going to find is that it may be extremely difficult for you to find a lawyer that can take on and beat the company.
 
Lawsuits are very, very expensive. It may cost you thousands and thousands of dollars to prevail in your case. The expenses of winning the case often times don’t justify bringing your single wage case.
 
What you may find is that not many good lawyers are going to take your relatively small (I talk about this in other parts of this website) wage claim.
 

How do I file an unpaid wages class action lawsuit in California? 

 
Second, you can file a class action lawsuit it court. A class action lawsuit is a legal case where one or several persons sue on behalf of a larger group of persons, referred to as “the class.” A class action is a representative action in which the class representatives prosecute the action on behalf of the absent parties. In a wage class action case, the person brining the class action lawsuit is doing so on behalf of all the affected employees.
 
A class action is preferable in many respects because the huge costs of brining a lawsuit can be split among all of the company’s employees.
 
In most instances, a class action lawsuit (or a PAGA case) is the only effective way to get the company to stop taking your wages.  If you bring an individual case or a Labor Commissioner case (see below); the company has no incentive to stop illegal wage practices. In other words, the company will keep right on keeping on taking your wages.
 
Wage class action cases are extremely effective in forcing company's to pay money to workers that have had company's violate California wage laws
 

How do I bring a wages arbitration claim in California?

Third, if you have signed an arbitration agreement with the company, you can take you case to arbitration. Or should I say arbitration hell. You will see the deck is stacked so severely against you when you have to arbitrate your case. With an arbitration, the rules are all in the company’s favor and the arbitrator is in their back pocket. Don’t believe me?  In many instances, putting up your own money to win your arbitration wage case is like pouring good money after bad.
 
The reason why the company forced you to sign an arbitration agreement to begin with is because they knew that they will beat you in an arbitration. Or if you do "win," you will probably spend more money to recover your wages than the amount of the wages you recover. That surely doesn't feel like a win. 
 
This is why arbitration is usually not your best option. Under most circumstance, if you are subject to an arbitration agreement, and you have worked within the last year - you are much better off by filing a PAGA unpaid wages case. 
 

How do I file a PAGA lawsuit for unpaid wages?

 
Fourth, you can file a PAGA case. The State of California has inadequate resources to enforce California wage Statues. The LWDA simply doesn't have the resources to pursue all of the labor violations. Because of this, the California legislature enacted PAGA. A PAGA lawsuit is a qui tam lawsuit that "deputizes" citizens as private attorneys general.
 
PAGA actions are designed to protect employees and penalize employers for illegal conduct.
 
You can only recover civil penalties under PAGA. There are some that contend that you can recover wages under PAGA.  I respectfully disagree. It's my view that these wages are actually penalties. Meaning, that 75% go to the State and 25% go to workers. So in that sense, you can recover wages in a PAGA case - but the wages are actually part of the penalties owed. 
 
An "aggrieved employee" may bring the PAGA action only after giving written notice to both the employer and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Then you have to wait 65 days before you file your PAGA lawsuit. In essence, you are giving time for the State of California to not file the lawsuit, before you can proceed. 
 
A PAGA case is not a class action case. But a PAGA case is a collective action, like a class action case, because the plaintiff in a PAGA case is bringing the case for himself and the other “aggrieved employees.”
 
If there is an arbitration agreement or the company is just going to remove your case to Federal Court anyway, then you should be seriously thinking about filing a PAGA action. 
 

How do I bring a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner's office? 

 
Fifth, you can file a claim with the Labor Commissioners office.  The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), which is headed by the Labor Commissioner. There are many reasons why this might not be the way to go.  However, if you can’t find a lawyer to take your individual claim and/or file a class action or PAGA case - then a Labor Commissioner claim might be the best option for you.
 
Generally though, this is usually your last option. In most instances, if you can, you are probably much better off bringing a class action lawsuit or a PAGA lawsuit. 

 

Need Answers Now? Call us.

619-304-1000

What if I have more questions about how to get the wages that I am owed? 

Post a question here and we will get right back to you. We realize the stress and problems that are caused when you're not paid on time and/or when you're paid late. We can help.

A No B.S. straight-shooter lawyer

Believe it or not, Bill is known for being a no B.S. straight-up lawyer. Besides being known as one of the leading experts on this area of the law in California, one of the reasons why Bill is asked to testify at legislature hearings is because he is known for being straight-forward and blunt. He is known for being no B.S., with no lawyer-talk, no double talk. .

Bill Turley on the cover of San Diego Attorney Journal

Bill Turley was recently named "California's Leading Wage and Hour Class Action Lawyer" 

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

         

Bill is always going to be straight-up. He is going to tell you what you need to hear, not what you may want to hear.

This is why Bill is continually asked to go to Sacramento in order to work on wage issues with the California State Assembly, California State Senate, the State of California Labor Commissioner’s Office, California Secretary of State’s Office, and the California Attorney General’s office. Bill doesn't work for the California Legislature or these California agencies. But the fact that they regularly consult with Bill on California wage law speaks volumes to his expertise. 

He’s well known for telling it like it is. They know he’ll tell the truth in his no B.S., tell it like it is style. 

Need help right now?

Call us at 619-304-1000  - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.

Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new wage case" in your text. 

Or leave us a message on this web page

Words of Caution

 

Bill candidly points out that there are no guarantees that any lawsuit, wage class action case, and/or PAGA case will be successful and/or whether anyone will recover money, wages and/or penalties. There are any number of reasons why these cases are defeated, aren’t certified and/or are unsuccessful. Every case is different. Every situation is different. Every case has different facts, evidence and defenses.

 

 

 

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.”
51 Comments:
You say California has strict laws but how can a company pay an employee over a week after they submitted a timecard? I think that's outrageous. My 2 week period ends on a Friday and they say payday is Friday so I have to wait a full week before I get paid even with direct deposit. It shouldn't take more than 2 business days to get paid with direct deposit, IMO. My last employer did that. Apparently my current employer wants to collect interest on money I've earned. This means we are really only getting paid once a month, not twice, on some months. This is just not right.
Posted by steve on August 9, 2019 at 01:32 PM
Hi I currently work for Walmart. I went on an Loa in May for 2 weeks. Since I have been back I have not been paid on time. I have to call and bug HR and then they will finally issue my check 7 days late. This has been happening since may. This week I was supposed to get paid on the 11th and HR promised me that I would get paid on time. Today is the 12th and I have not received any pay and my bills are late and I told HR I had bills due on the 11th. Please let me know what I should do
Posted by Jessica Steffani on July 12, 2019 at 07:21 AM
I have not been paid for 1 month. In fact, our entire development and design team have not been paid for the last month, as we suspect our boss of fraud with investor money. I work(ed) at NatureTrak. My boss is Jontae James.
Posted by Rob Toloy on June 30, 2019 at 01:05 PM
Hi, I quit my job in California on June 2nd, 2019. I still haven't received a check for final wages. What do I do? State Commission is requiring payroll, and my last job isn't giving me the documents I need so, I am unsure what my next option is- if anyone can help me, the job was in Alameda County.
Posted by Rachelle Bahr on June 26, 2019 at 11:18 PM
I was hired and was told I be on the pay roll in a week that never happened and then the company started not paying me on time or the full amount can I still file on them and what for. Also it’s a one man company so can I still sue him under that PAGA
Posted by Larry rocco on June 17, 2019 at 02:23 PM
I get paid every 2 weeks . My boss forgot to pay me on Friday due to his vacation, he sent me a message regarding my pay will be Available this Tuesday and that we will be working on Monday . I let him know that I refuse work until I get paid .
Posted by Jorge on April 22, 2019 at 08:54 AM
Yes I work through a temp agency and the company I work for sent my correct hours of work to temp agency and the agency gets a big cut for me working through them. So today I was suppose to get paid for for 40 hours and they made a mistake in payroll on my part. Not the company I work for they sent the correct hours but agency messed up and paid me for 3 hours only and all they said was in sorry we will have a check for you Monday. I have obligations rent etc. Sorry doesn't pay those they basically said there is nothing they can do since they send out there payroll stuff to orange county. Why do I get penialized for their mistake. What actions should I take because I like working where I work and they did nothing wrong. The agency is the screw up. What really makes me mad is they get a %50 cut on my hourly pay for working there so they are getting $18 an hour from my company I work for and pay me $12 an hour and they got paid for all the hours I worked when I am only getting paid for 3 hours. How is that right?
Posted by Sean on April 19, 2019 at 05:57 PM
If your employer pays you health/wellness monies, which are placed in a 401k pretax plan, is there a a time period when those monies must show up in the employee’s account. How long can an employer hang on to those monies before placing them in the employee’s pretax plan?
Posted by Dawn on April 15, 2019 at 11:30 PM
Hi, I recently started working for a construction company since 2/25/19 I received 1 check that bounced because of insufficient funds for the week of 2/25/19 - 3/1/19 And on 3/29/19 I'll be owed a total of 4 checks. I'm supposed to get payed weekly. They keep telling us "next week" and I'm sick of it. I demand answers for the money I rightfully earned. I'm worried they'll go bankrupt and I wont receive anything. I need help.
Posted by Samuel Sierra on March 27, 2019 at 04:11 PM
Hi I need help. I somehow still have hope that I have a case. So I have worked three years for a company that i started to sue late last year for not giving me my breaks and for not paying me over time. Once I started the lawsuit the company retaliated and started to write me up and suspend me. They cut my fulltime and my benefits in January. The owner of the business is also H.R. she offered me a check for my meal breaks which my lawyer told me to void and return so I did. A few weeks went by and yesterday was pay day. I noticed my check was not the correct amount it was more than what it should be. I spoke to the owner she explained she combined the checks into one my regular pay with the meal break pay and had it go through direct deposit. My lawyer said I no longer had a case and drop me. The amount is not correct and I am now looking for a new attorney who can take my wages,discrimination,retaliation and harassment case. I only have my workers comp case attorney still.
Posted by Karla on March 23, 2019 at 05:09 PM
Hi I have a few questions about my late paycheck I was fired on a Sunday and I did not get my paycheck until the following Friday she deducted over half of my pay for stuff I've never been deducted for before or had to pay back and she has not taking taxes out of my check the entire year that I work for her can someone please get ahold of me at this email address I would really appreciate it thank you
Posted by Lacey stepter on February 22, 2019 at 10:51 PM
So I received the same exact paycheck on two different paydays one was on a regular payday and the other was when they were late paying me because I had to close my direct deposit account and open a new one so the sent me a physical paycheck but it was 5 days late and because of it I owe late fees to my credit card's ....but I got the same paycheck twice on two different paydays on in direct deposit and one in the late physical check now I'm missing the pay and hours for the two weeks I worked because they paid me the same check twice. ...I'm paid bi weekly by the way
Posted by Ronnie Hogan on February 16, 2019 at 05:18 PM
My question is: a new company took over and I was the oldest and highest paid worker. The company found a way to terminate me. When I was let go, I got a check that was short hours and after going back and forth they finally sent my remaining pay. But, they refused to send me my accurred vacation pay. In California, vacation pay is considered wages. They said if I had stayed employed till January 2019, I would have received my vacation pay for 2018. Instead they let me go in September 2018 and would not prorate from January 2018 to September 2018. It's around $1300-1400 dollars. Is there anything I can do to collect?
Posted by Teresa on February 6, 2019 at 03:44 AM
My job was supposed to pay me for 3 weeks but only paid me part of one week its been 2 weeks are thet suppose to pay me any penalty fees, or any overdraft fee on my account?
Posted by Gracy on October 10, 2018 at 07:17 AM
Can my employer refuse to pay me if I forgot to clock in for my shift?
Posted by Jamie S on September 26, 2018 at 07:12 PM
State of California I work a few days out of the week and didn’t get paid for 2 of the days before the pay period ended What can u do?
Posted by Antrell Brown on September 14, 2018 at 10:27 AM
I transferred from Texas to California and I've worked almost four weeks and my employer has failed to send me a check for the hours and commission I've earned. The first check was supposed to be mailed to my job but payroll never sent it. So far, I've gone for almost four weeks without getting paid and my company pays me every week. What are the penalties for my employer being irresponsible?
Posted by I'll rather not say! on May 28, 2018 at 05:41 AM
Late last year my employer (a large corporation) communicated to a handful of CA employees in my department that we were incorrectly classified as salary employees and would be reclassified to an hourly employee because our role/title did not meet the requirements of a salaried employee. We were told we would be recieving backpay for OT hours for a portion of the time that we were classified as salary but should have been hourly. We were then told there was no way to determine how many OT hours might have been worked since our hours were never recorded (clock in or clock out) since that was not required as a salaried employee. So we were asked (or told) by management that the average based on the normal work load would likely be about 2 hours a day and likely only during the busy season of work. Which is about 4-6 months but they determined it to only be 3 months. They said they would be using that to determine the amount of back pay hrs. Today we were sent an ‘acknowledgment of receipt of wages, release and waiver’ and asked to sign it in order for HR to begin the backpay process. The problem is that the form basically indicates that once it is signed we agree that no other legal action can be taken and it also says that we (I) agree the reported hours are accurate. Any help with what I should or shouldn’t do? The form seems like perhaps the company knows they are not correctly paying out the backpay but they just want to be done with it.
Posted by Jon Lopez on April 9, 2018 at 06:56 PM
If my company doesn't put my direct deposit in on time and I accrue overdraft charges, is the company respinsible for these charges? Payday was today, HR said it might not be issues until tomorrow. My pay warrent has already been provided.
Posted by Candace on February 15, 2018 at 11:05 PM
Last Monday morning my employer deposited over $1500 into my account. They then sent an email saying I was overpaid and that ADT was going to debit the entire deposit and redepost the correct amount of just over $600. They took back the 1500 but I am still waiting for the pay that is due me a week later. Is the company supposed to pay a penalty for this?
Posted by Don Sperline on February 11, 2018 at 06:30 PM
if our pay checks come in and our boss has that certain day off and doesnt give us our checks until his next day that he has to come to work is it considered late ?
Posted by leslie on February 1, 2018 at 02:38 AM
Do I still count the days the employer mail my check for late penalties
Posted by Janet Randolph on January 6, 2018 at 03:08 PM
If my company doesn't put my direct deposit in on time and I accrue overdraft charges, along with late fee from bills that should be paid, is the company responsible for that?
Posted by Shenee Collins on January 5, 2018 at 11:31 AM
Hi, My name is Yesenia and Im 16 years old. I have a question that I really want to know about. Like what to do? ... Okay so, I am currently working at a fast food restaurant but when I first entered The managers told me to fill up paper work but since I dont have a computer at home I asked if I could use theirs and the Manager was fine with it. Ofcourse, as I bearly started working I asked for help on 2 of my forms... which one included the W' Form... The manager wasnt aware of it as he said he had never seen that before.... (Which is weird to me If his manager?...right) ... so what he does is Call The other manager and He reads aloud what the paper says over the phone to the manager telling her what to put on Total number of allowences and She says "What? what you mean"(sounding as if she was distracted) and so the manager with me Reads aloud again and she says "Uhm I dont know just tell her to put 0" And so He does as what he says and Im done with paper work right, expecting to get my paycheck, comfortable with the fact that theres nothing wrong since the managers helped me.... Finally pay day comes but .... Turns out my paycheck was Non-negotiable ... ofcourse Im like "Whaaaaat?" ... so I ask the managers about why it had came to me like that... and turns out that Supposively I had put and gaven the government the right to take away $1,000 out of my check.... (which is not even what I earn anyways)... So im totally confused and I explained to them that It wasnt me who had put that Since I had asked for help from the managers and I told them That I only wanted my pay check!! and well for the to fix that so my next pay check wont come out like the first one.... Its been a week already and they still havent paid me my first check.... what should I do? I just want for them to fix that and My first pay check!
Posted by Yesenia Hernandez on January 4, 2018 at 09:53 AM
I am a full time employee at a maintenance company. I am paid bi-weekly. I have my paychecks direct deposited into my back account. My second check in December was not approved even though I turned in my hours. My employer admitted it was their oversight. They approved my time and will send me a physical check, but when the check arrives it will be 6-7 days after the date I was supposed to get paid. This has caused my bank account to be overdrawn because of bills scheduled to be automatically paid. What are my rights as an employee?
Posted by Andrew on January 3, 2018 at 01:11 AM
I started my job on 11/30 thry stated that we will get paid 12/08 for that day and the following day. When the 8th came around people that i had started with only recieved a 3 hour check when we worked almost 13 hours. I however didnt recieve a check at all. They had me fill out a correction form which i was fine with and they said they added the hours that it would be over nighted. It was not. I figured it would be on the next check again it wasnt and that check was 3 hours short. We are going on 2 weeks now waiting on that check and i have emailed HR to fix this and shes making it seem like it i put the wrong address and that it was sent to my old address. I then went into the employee portal to check the amount of the check that was supposably issued and mailed to my old address and there was nothing there. What can i do. I am lost and just want whats owed to me people have quit because of this because they werent laid correctly or not at all and they still havent recieved their owed amounts which is why i havemt quit yet. What can i do?
Posted by Samantha Moore on December 20, 2017 at 08:32 PM
I am currently working at a security company who is late paying people checks, then acts as if we need to jump through hoops just to get our checks late. He also has done this to other co workers before, so it seems like a pattern. What can i do?
Posted by Antonio Olivera on December 12, 2017 at 10:41 AM
I was terminated after I confronted my employer about not giving me my pay stubs (even upon request) not paying me on time (making me chase my check with an one excuse or another) and making me violate health safety standards daily. I was their model employee, many members to validate that. I am being targeted, it's a personal vendetta against me.
Posted by Julie Ann on December 2, 2017 at 06:08 PM
My employer did not calculate my hours correctly, I am missing a few hours on my check. How that is possible I do not know, but I have already been paid for that pay period. What are my rights for that? They stated that I would be paid for those hours the following pay period. Is that right? Thank You
Posted by Jay on October 27, 2017 at 11:18 PM
Hi my name is jake, I recently started working for a new employer, within my same union. The company is now a week late with my paycheck , everyday they have come up with another reason why they haven't payed me (problems with direct deposit/ wrong mailing address , etc. I have proof that they received all of the correct information above although they have claimed that the issue was on my end. All of my coworkers have been paid on time including people that were hired the same date as me. I want to know if there is anything I can do .
Posted by Jake Flores on October 18, 2017 at 08:22 PM
Hello. I was hired as a Permanent -intermittent - on call Dental Hygienist -for Sac County in March last year. On Friday Sept 29th I was laid off , informed my help is no longer needed. I was instructed to call HR to close out my accounts and receive final check. When calling HR I was informed that the earliest they would have my check is the following Friday ( normal payday ) Oct 6th. I was told that HR would deliver my check to me at the post office.at 5pm. If I was not there she would mail my check to me. I arrived 15 mins early. And waited 45 mins. HR never showed up. I called HR before I left. No answer. No call back. On Monday. Tuesday. No check in mail. I called HR manager to find out where my check is. No answer. No callback. On weds/Thursday Oct 11/12 I contacted the union steward. Even though I am not covered under the union as a intermittent permanent employee. I wanted answers and It’s been almost two weeks since they decided to lay me off and I Still have no final check ! Friday 10/13/17 I had no check. But was promised I would have it by 5pm. I have not received a paycheck for a month now. not received my final paycheck for Two weeks , a week past my normal payday. Starting the day I was let go. I was in contact with HR/HR manager/EDD/Union rep/ Union Steward. I never heard back from anyone .. except the union Steward. No one has answers. What do I do ? Please help! Thank you !! Sincerely , Kendra
Posted by Kendra on October 14, 2017 at 02:05 PM
I started my new job on 8/14. I worked full 40 hours a week with 2 days of overtime. I didn't recieve my pay check on 8/24. They told me something in the system was messed up so I would get paid for my first two weeks on my pay check on 9/15. I didn't receive my first two weeks pay. I called payroll and after a lot of talking they said that my start date in the system was on 8/24. I told them I have proof I started on 8/14. So they said they will figure it out. It's not 10/01 and I haven't received my first two weeks pay. I filed a claim with the labor board. I don't know if I need to do anything else.
Posted by Alexandra Hernandez on October 1, 2017 at 10:29 PM
I was supposed to be payed friday by 2pm. Nobody recieved their pay by 2pm. Alot of people got paid the following morning. I still have not received my check and it is Monday. What do I do? Do they owe me additional compensation for having to wait so long?
Posted by Rachel Michaud on October 1, 2017 at 12:36 PM
I quit my job on Thursday at ufc gym it is now Monday I received my normal check on Saturday but they didn't give me my last weeks pay with it it's now 24 hours past the 72 hour law what should I do
Posted by Steven walton on September 26, 2017 at 12:01 AM
This is happening now right to me and my coworker's how do I report them? What can I do to get action ?
Posted by Andre' Mayo on September 22, 2017 at 02:49 PM
Hello my name is Alicia I work in Napa Valley California and believe that my boss or payroll have been taking my breaks off when IAM not actually taking breaks and are not paying me my overtime correct for the hours worked I asked them why they were illegally taking my money they tried to fire me I really need help with this situation please contact me at 7076814542
Posted by Alicia ARAGON on September 19, 2017 at 09:45 PM
We have been told that paydays are the 15th and the 30th. I have direct deposit. Today is the 15th. I have no deposit. This is the 2nd time this has happened. The first time when I contacted my employer about it, they accused my bank of being the problem so this time I did not contact them. However I'm pretty sure I will have bounced check fees. How should I handle this?
Posted by MM on September 15, 2017 at 10:14 PM
I currently work for a private 1st-12th school. We get biweekly paychecks, which we receive on the 16th and 1st of every month. My first day back at work was august 7th. My employer failed to give us our first pay check on the 16th of august. We are getting our very first paycheck on the 1st of September now for the August 16-31st I worked. What is the law regarding not receiving the first paycheck when I worked from the 7th till the 15th of august? My employer is stating that they are going to pro-rate my check since I only worked august 7th-15th although the first day back to work was the 7th. (I am also a salaried employee in California)
Posted by Mb on September 15, 2017 at 12:23 AM
Hello, I have a question if my scheduled pay date is every week on a Saturday but I don't receive my check until the following week on a Monday or Tuesday what can I do about this late payment situation? because I have bills that need to be played on time? And what penalties should be granted to me???
Posted by Marquis on September 14, 2017 at 06:39 PM
My pay date is today, owner saif it might be in my account tommorrow or not ?? Is their a penalty she needs to pay ?
Posted by Cristal Robles on September 5, 2017 at 03:47 PM
My husband had an accident at work and he filed a work comp claim. Right now he is not working , and the work comp claim is going through the process . He got injured two weeks ago, and 2 days ago was his lay day at work , however he did not receive his pay check for the hours he worked the week he got injured . We feel it's for discriminatory reasons , they said they needed to figure his hours out when he called them to ask about the check . They had two weeks to do that. He is salary , so it's not rocket science , and they have the time of the day when the accident happened . I don't know if I should go through work comp attorney or file a claim with the labor board . They have made this whole process a nightmare . It took them a week to report the accident , which they tried to lie about , but we have evidence , especially since he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance from his work . Thank you I appreciate your time .
Posted by Melissa on September 3, 2017 at 12:46 PM
I recieved an 87 dollar check last check. I was missing 8 hrs and on top of that i was missing my vacation pay. Which shouldve been giving to me on august 4ths paycheck because i sent my boss the sheet on july 26th. A week and a half in advance. What can i do regarding this? Cant they get a penalty? My boss just said sorry that he forgot. Do i pay for his mistake or do they pay me for his mistake?
Posted by Edgar Perez on August 20, 2017 at 08:43 PM
Has anyone ever contacted you about the company SoCal Naturals? They owe at least ten employees months of pay, totaling over thousands of dollars. Us employees are trying to group together but don't know what is the most effective thing to do. We are all technically independent contractors too, which I'm sure makes it more difficult
Posted by L. Math on August 16, 2017 at 11:53 PM
Hello. I gave my employer a 2 weeks notice. And my last shift was on thursday, its now tuesday. 5 days later. Am i owed any pay for my final check being late. I woek in California.
Posted by rinnell on August 15, 2017 at 08:21 PM
How soon after job completion is an employer required to pay? What are the applicable state and federal statutes?
Posted by John Clefstad on August 12, 2017 at 10:33 PM
I was given a raise on 6/11/17. From $11.93 to 12.93 for being a temp manager for 2 month. I didn't get paid those 2 month with raise. I got paid $11.93 hourly. Which isn't right. My store manager contacted HR. They keep saying they need more info but he has given them all the info to them. It's been 4-5 paychecks without the raise. What should I do?
Posted by Jose Lizaola on August 8, 2017 at 08:48 PM
Home Depot lost my paycheck over a month ago. All 3 attempts at asking for assistance from HR Attachment & Assistant Store Mgr have not only failed but have been blatantly ignored - the only contact is the management wanting more. Is there a point to filing a claim? How much retaliation is going to come from the company?
Posted by Tom H. on July 30, 2017 at 01:25 AM
i was suspended with pay pending an investigation at usc verdugo hills hospital on the 7/13. However i was only paid for one day of that pay period. i was told if i didnt resigning they would go after my license. So i signed a letter to resign effective 8/21 and they agreed to pay me until that date. What are my options.
Posted by Leo Aguinigs on July 28, 2017 at 03:14 AM
Hey there! I was told I was being given a raise from $20 to $23 dollars an hour starting July 1st, meaning July 1-15th I was earning a higher wage - this pay is given on our paycheck that comes on the 23rd of the month. But apparently there was a glitch and when I received my check it did not include the raise. I told my boss and he said it was a mistake and he'd look into it. But has yet to get me my money owed. What do I do? I don't want to wait for this money. Am I owed more money because the check is late? Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
Posted by Stephanie on July 22, 2017 at 11:59 PM
William, I am a travel RN for USSI Staffing currently contracted to BMH since 08/08/2016 until June ?? 2017. There was a period of 4 weeks that I did not receive my pay because I refused to go to my hotel after a shift, log onto public wifi and waste time re-entering my hrs for a third party vendor that does payroll for supplemental staff at BMH. I finally went to the Labor Commissioner and was paid very quickly afterwards. I am pd on a weekly basis and this past week I took a screen shot of my time punches and emailed them to my recruiter (our solution to me not doing someone else;s job as well as my job). I had to appear in court the day before pay is direct deposited into my account so my phone was turned off, but my hrs were submitted,. When I was able to turn on my phone I learned that they wanted a pic of my personal screen that showed my name with the hrs I kindly obliged them but they said it was too late to get my money and would have to wait until Monday. There is no way that screen shot could have been anyone's acct but mine because they are password protected. My feeling is they still have a burr up their butt about getting in trouble for attempting to "teach me a lesson" and could have issued the direct deposit and requested the more complete screen shot later that day. They also used the excuse that they had missed the cutoff line for wire transfers. I have been exceedingly generous with these clowns and not had them fined nor have I tried to collect for all the mandatory 10 breaks I don't get (I could count on one hand the 10min breaks I've received since I started in 08/2017 to current) . I work 12hr shifts and only go on 1 30min break (unpaid) for lunch per shift. This is making it difficult to pay my bills and aside from the breaks how can I keep them from making these types of retaliatory acts a regular occurrence?
Posted by Carolynn Montgomery on April 30, 2017 at 05:03 PM
Hello I recently worked for subway on may 15 then 3 weeks later I couldn't work there no more dur to me moving so I let my boss at subway know 1 week prior yo me leaving that I was moving from county's so I asked for my check he said it would be ready Friday but it wasn't so I moved 300 miles away and then I called about my check he said bring your shirt in and I will Have your check ready do I did I drove 300 mikes to drop off my shirt and pick up my check but he didn't have my check ready he stated he would mail it so I waiting 1 week no check in the mail I kept calling him he said he would money gram me money or send me a person check due to he supposed shredded my check what should i do
Posted by Christina Rosado on April 27, 2017 at 07:06 PM

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