Go to navigation Go to content
Phone: 619-304-1000
The Turley Law Firm P.C.

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

What knowledge, proof and/or evidence do I need for my California wage case?

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

What you're going to find is this isn't as crazy as it might first appear. The hardest part is knowing what to look for. That is, how employer's regularly try and get away with not paying workers all of the wages they are owed. 

This is where a good, honest California wage lawyer can really help. 

In this article, I discuss the knowledge, proof and/or evidence that is needed in order to prevail in your unpaid wages case. 

 

How do I gather evidence for a wage and hour claim?

In order to start you wage and hour lawsuit you don't always need "concrete proof" that your employer owes you wages that you have not received. For example, we have started and won huge wage and hour cases with only what our client was telling us. 

Now, don't get me wrong. In order to win your wage and hour lawsuit, you are going to need proof. 

Usually, this can be done in the following ways:

Paycheck stubs 

This is the first place to start. In order to know if you've been paid all of the wages you're owed you should first check what you have been paid for.

 

What if I don't have my paycheck stubs - can I still bring an unpaid wages lawsuit in California? 

Yes. If you don't have your pay stubs, you can still bring and win a wages case in California. 

Under California law, all employers are required by both Labor Code Section 226 and the Wage Orders to keep paycheck stubs. So, if you don't have your pay stubs, you can easily get them. 

 

Can I win my wage case if I don't have detailed records of the hours that I worked? 

You don't need to keep detailed records of the hours you work.  

If possible, you shouldn’t rely on just your pay stub to tell you when and where you worked. Whenever possible you should  keep your own schedule in a separate calendar that can be used to double-check your hours against your employer’s records. There are apps for phones that will keep track of the hours that your work. 

If you haven't done this - that's okay. We regularly win unpaid wages cases where our client didn't keep track of the hours that they worked. 

What you're looking for here is to see if you're employer has paid you for all of the time that you worked.  A lot of company's will shave time. That is, not count a few minutes here and a few minutes here. 

Another thing company's will do is deduct for meal periods when you're not really relieved of all duties. Which is illegal under California law. 

 

Time keeping records (your punch records) 

The California Wage Orders require employers to keep accurate time keeping records. When employers fail to keep accurate time keeping records the courts are very understanding and will allow you to prove the time that you work with your testimony and estimates.  This is because when the company fails to meet their duty to maintain accurate time keeping records that falls on the company - not you. 

How can I prove that my supervisor "adjusted my time records," "took time away from me," "inserted a meal period" and/or "deducted time from my paycheck?"  .... Electronic time keeping records, time shaving, and time record adjustments 

When your supervisor "adjusts" the time that you work - such as inserting a meal period when you didn't take one or "deducting" 15 minutes here or a half-hour there - - there are almost always electronic records of the time changes. That's the beauty behind most all timekeeping programs that are used today.  There are always records of when their are "adjustments," or "meal period inserts," or "time-shaving" or the like. 

When your supervisor alters your time keeping records then there is an electronic trail of these changes being made. Most programs also make a record of who makes the changes, when the changes are made and some require an explanation of why the time-keeping changes were made. 

If you suspect that your supervisor or the company is altering your time records - then you need to contact the best, honest wage lawyer that that you can find.  This is not only illegal - it is time theft or payroll theft. 

 

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.

Not getting paid meal period and rest period premiums 

Under California law, you're entitled to getting paid an hour's pay when you're not provided a legal meal period or rest break. Click here for an in depth article on California's meal break laws and California's rest break laws. 

 

Get a free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis 

If this sounds like it's a lot of work for you, then click here to find out more on how to get a free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis. 

 

 

Why Bill is asked to testify concerning wage law legislation at the California State Senate and the California Assembly

 

Bill Turley is regularly asked to testify before the California State Senate and the California Assembly concerning potential wage legislation. The California legislature is how wage laws are made.

Usually when Bill testifies before the California State Senate on wage and hour issues, Bill is the only class action lawyer invited to testify at the hearing.


Bill testifies regularly before the California State Assembly and California State Senate on the new PAGA bill (read: wage theft legislation).

 


Why we offer workers a confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis


Straight - forward, No B.S.
 
If you follow me at all, you’ll know that I’m all about telling like it is. Believe it or not, I’m know for being straight up. It’s why I’m the go-to guy in Sacramento on wage and hour law. I’m the wage and hour class action lawyer that is regularly asked to testify before the California State Senate and the California State Assembly on wage legislation.  The reason I’m always asked to testify is that I’m going to give it to them straight. No B.S.
 
I tell people what they need to hear - not what they want to hear. So here I go again. This isn’t going to be popular.  But here is the reason why I offer workers a confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis.
 
The truth is that there are only a handful of wage class action lawyers in California that can properly analyze an unpaid wages case. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m just telling you like it is.   
 
There are a lot of bad lawyers out there that call themselves experts in unpaid wage law
 
The problem for you is that there are dozens of dozens of lawyers that will rank high on your Google search that just aren’t very good lawyers. In fact, most of them are not good lawyers. How do I know this? Because I see them screw up cases all the time.
 
Happy clients with their settlement checks from a California unpaid wages case.
It feels really good when you get your check for unpaid wages owed to you!
 

Not all lawyers are alike

I’ve been blessed in a few respects.  I’ve been in a firm that is one of the top five unpaid wages class action firms in California.
 
I’ve had the opportunity to be a student of the law. When the other lawyers I’ve worked with have been handling all these unpaid wages class action cases, I’ve been blessed to be allowed to simply study the law. To have the time to think about new strategies, new theories, new ways to enforce California’s wage and hour laws. take what I’ve learned in my studying and have applied it to our cases.
 
This where I’m coming from here. You can gather all the evidence you want - and that is very helpful, don’t get me wrong. But unless you’ve been studying California wage law for years, you’re just not going to get it. You’re not going to “spot all the issues,” so to speak.
 
And the problem you also face is that most lawyers that you are thinking about hiring - they aren’t going to get it also. I know this because I see other lawyers screw these cases up all the time. I know this isn’t popular to say - but it’s the truth. They may have fancy websites, they might talk a good game - - but at the end of the day - they just aren’t that good and many are down-right bad. Even terrible. 

My best advice - claim your free unpaid wages analysis

So my best advice to you is that if you suspect that you haven’t been paid all the wages that you are owed under California law, that you avail yourself of our confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis.
 
I’m not saying you have to hire my or you will lose your case. I’m just saying that there are only a handful of lawyers that I would trust to win your unpaid wages case in California.
 
So, after we have conducted your confidential, free, no obligation unpaid wages analysis - - and you don’t want me to help you, I’ll give you the names of a handful of other wage and hour class action lawyers that I trust will do a great job for you and your co-employees.
 

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

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.

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