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The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

Can a California employee waive or release their rights to unpaid wages?

Can a California Employee Waive or Release their Rights to Unpaid Wages?

Under California Wage and Hour Laws, no employer can require you to release any claim or right on account of wages due, or to become due, or made as an advance on wages to be earned, unless payment of such wages has been made.

In other words, you employer can't require you to "release" (read: settle) a wage claim in order for you to receive your wages.

Any release required or executed in violation of the provisions of this section shall be null and void between the employer and the employee and the violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor. This means that if your employer does require you to sign a release in order to for you to get paid your wages, the release can't be enforced in Court.

When you suspect that your employer has not paid you all the wages that you are entitled, what do you do? The last thing you should do is make unsubstantiated allegations towards your employer. First, you may be mistaken. Second, proceeding blindly may mean that you lose protection under the law. Instead, you should consult an experienced honest California wage and hour lawyer and first learn your rights.There are all different types and forms of wage theft.

     1.     Misclassification

     2.     Not paying overtime

     3.     Not paying double time

     4.     Not providing meal breaks

     5.     Not allowing rest periods

     6.     Not paying vacation time

     7.     Not reimbursing expenses

     8.     Making employees pay for uniforms

     9.     Making employees pay for shortages/ missing product

Only salaried California employees who qualify under the "white-collar" overtime exemptions are exempt from receiving the overtime premium. 

Representing workers all over California

Bill Turley has a State-wide practice. While his main office is in San Diego, he has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Bakersfield. Bill handles cases for workers all over California. 


William Turley
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