Wage earners in California are afforded protections under the California Labor Code and the wage orders from the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). Under these laws, they are entitled to be paid wages rightfully and promptly by their employers. A lot of them, however, are being denied wages that are lawfully owed to them, with some employers doing so willfully. Fortunately for them, workers denied of their wages can bring claims against their employers through either the California Labor Commissioner (Department of Labor Standards Enforcement) or through civil court via the legal assistance of a Los Angeles labor lawyer.
If you are a California wage earner and you have been denied of your wages, then it is a must that you consult with the aforementioned legal counsel right away. Your wage issue against your employer might be unique, but the attorney who would serve as your legal advocate often handles various types of claims that might fit your situation. Here are some of them:
- Claim for unpaid minimum wage. Under the labor laws in the state, you are entitled to a minimum wage rate of $9.00 per hour. In 2016, the rate would increase by a dollar, making California’s minimum wage at $10.00 per hour. If you are being paid less than the minimum wage, you need to file a claim that would enable you to collect the difference of the amount you are being paid and the amount you should have been earning under the minimum wage. Aside from the difference, you may likewise be able to claim liquidated damages, which is equal to the amount of wages owed to you.
- Claim for unpaid overtime wages. You are entitled to overtime if you are a non-exempt employee. Under the prevailing labor laws in the state, overtime is equal to one and one half times the regular rate of pay for workers who perform work over 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek. Make sure that you speak with your attorney when determining if you are truly entitled to overtime as a non-exempt employee.
- Claim for double-time wages. If you are working for more than 12 hours in a workday, then you are entitled to wages that are double your regular rate of pay. It is a must that you recover any unpaid wages due to you, since it is twice the regular rate.
- Claim for unreimbursed expenses. If you incurred mileage costs for using your personal car within your working hours, then your employer must be reimbursed for it. If not, then you are entitled to file a claim through either the Labor Commissioner or the civil court.