Unfortunately, employers sometimes deny lawful wages that employees should be afforded. When this happens, not only is it frustrating for the employee, but the employee may also have to deal with emotional distress. California law allows employees to file a claim against their employer if they have been denied wages that they have a right to, or have been paid decreased wages. California’s labor laws allow employees to file a claim.  

 There are several ways you could recover compensation that you are rightly owed. This includes:

  • Filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s office
  • Filing a lawsuit for your wage and our dispute in court

Can I file a lawsuit for wage disputes with my employer?

Our Irvine employment attorneys will assist you in the event that you would like to file a claim for unpaid wages against your employer. 

What rights do I have as an employee in Irvine, California?

  • All employees that are working in Irvine, California have a right to get paid minimum wage or more. Starting in 2023, the statewide minimum wage became $15.50 per hour. This means that if you are an employee, and you are getting paid less than this hourly wage, you have a right to file a lawsuit or a claim against your employer for a wage and our dispute.
  • Employees who work overtime are to receive one and a half times their pay. Overtime is considered more than 8 hours a day, more than 40 hours a week, or when employees work more than 6 days in a week. If you have been denied overtime pay, contact our Irvine employment lawyers.
  • Employees are required to have meal and rest breaks. Employers cannot deny an employee a break. Employees must get 30 minutes break for every 5 hours that they work during the day.
  • Employees cannot work off the clock without being compensated by their employers. This means that once an employee is off their shift, they cannot be working without adequate pay.

Who can file a lawsuit or claim for wage and hour disputes?

Specific types of employees could file a wage and hour dispute. For example, employees who get paid by commission and independent contractors do not have a right to file a wage and our claim since they are not entitled to such rights. 

What is an independent contractor?

An independent contractor is one that usually does not have much rights compared to other employees. Independent contractors perform services for other employers, without being completely under the control of the employer. Instead, independent contractors control their own work and are responsible for their own tools when it comes to performing the task.

What should I do if my Irvine employer does not pay me wages?

Contact our top-rated attorney as soon as possible if you have been denied wages by your Irvine employer. Your employer may have violated several California labor laws. If there are multiple employees that have been denied pay, all employees could file a lawsuit together. If someone you know has experience, make sure you have their contact information and you get in touch with them. 

When can I file my wage and hour dispute lawsuit in Irvine, California? 

You have 3 years from the date that your employer denied your wages to file a lawsuit. Although we think that three years is a very long time, it usually isn’t since it may take some time to gather all relevant documents. For example, it could take several months to get all your wage documents to file a claim for a wage and hour dispute. 

Could I receive compensation for a wage and hour dispute in California?

You are able to collect back wages for the compensation that you were denied. Besides back pay, you are also able to collect interest on the amount. Usually, it may take several months to several years to file a wage and hour dispute claim or lawsuit. Your attorney fees could also be reimbursed by your employer.

What if I get fired for filing a wage and hour dispute claim? If your employer retaliates against you by firing you, lessening your work hours, or harassing you, you have the right to file a workplace retaliation claim against your employer. Not only could you receive compensation for your wage and hour dispute, but you could also receive compensation for the emotional distress from your employer’s hostile work environment.

Could I file a claim for wage disputes with my employer?

Besides filing a lawsuit, you could also file a claim with the labor commissioner’s office in California. When you file a claim with the commissioner’s office, they will investigate the claim to determine how much in wages the employee deserves. 

Usually, when a claim is filed, both parties will settle amongst each other rather than file a lawsuit in court. Negotiations take place, and the employer and employee then settle upon a  compensation amount. But, in the event that both parties cannot settle, then there is a hearing with the labor commissioner’s office.

Can I file a claim if I am an independent contractor?

Independent contractors are a bit different when it comes to filing a claim with the labor commissioner’s office. The office does not accept claims from independent contractors. The reason for this is that independent contractors are considered their own business entities, and employers usually do not have full control over independent contractors. 

But, if you believe that your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor so you lose out on the right to file a claim, you can still file a claim with the labor commissioner’s office alleging this complaint. Give our attorneys a call to discuss your circumstances if you are considered an independent contractor.

When can I file a claim for wage dispute with the California labor commissioner’s office?

You must file your claim within a certain amount of time. But, this time differs depending on the circumstance that the employee is dealing with. For example:

  • You must file your claim within one year if your employer’s check has bounced and you were unable to deposit the wage into your account.
  • You must file your claim within 3 years if your employer has violated any wage that you are owed, which includes overtime wages and rest breaks.
  • You must file your claim within 4 years if you and your employer had a contract, and your employer failed to pay you the amount that is stated on the contract.
  • You must file your claim within two years if your employer has promised you verbally that they are to pay you more than minimum wage.

Because this could get very tricky, especially when trying to figure out when you should file your claim, contact our attorneys for more information. Our Irvine labor and employment attorneys work tirelessly for our clients to make sure that our clients get the wages they are owed. Time is of the essence, so get started today.