The wage and hour laws in California are extensive, but they can be a little complicated. If you work in the state of California and think that your employer has violated your wage or overtime rights, then it is important to know what steps to take.
Report the violation
The first step is to report the matter to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) or your employer. You can file between one and four years after the wage violation occurred depending on the nature of the violation. For instance, if your case is about a bounced check, then you have one year to file the claim.
The Labor Commissioner office will then investigate and determine if any wage and hour laws got violated. You can expect the authorities to hold a conference with you and your employer to resolve the wage claim outside of court.
A hearing may be necessary
If necessary, a hearing officer will get assigned to your wage claim case, they may make a judgment in favor of one side or the other after reviewing the evidence. The hearing officer’s decision is final and binding on both parties.
Ensure you have the right supporting documents
These include pay stubs, wage statements, time cards, work logs and any other wage records that you have. Submit one copy of each, and ensure that you don’t carry original documents to the hearing.
Hearing officer’s decision
When the wage claim goes through a hearing, the hearing officer will issue a wage claim decision. This document should include the reasons for the wage violation as well as the amount of money your employer owes you. You and your employer will get 15 days from receiving this written message to appeal if you disagree with any part of it.
Although the whole process of filing a wage claim may seem daunting, it may be your only opportunity to get the wage you deserve. Thankfully, by taking the necessary steps, you can find the process fairly simple and rewarding.