3 of the most common reasons workers file wage claims

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Wage & Hour |

Hourly workers expect to receive appropriate wages after they perform work for a business. Unfortunately, some companies try to pad their profits by intentionally denying workers the compensation that they have earned with their labor.

Frustrated employees who have not received wages in full sometimes have no option other than filing a wage claim against a company that has not fulfilled its financial obligations. Worker wage claims can lead to the courts awarding someone the wages that they should have received for labor already provided. The following are some of the most common reasons that employees have to take legal action against the companies that benefit from their work.

Unpaid overtime

A surprisingly large number of businesses violate overtime rules. In some cases, a company that recently expanded into California may not understand the unique California approach to overtime pay. These companies may unintentionally fail to pay overtime wages as required by state law. Other times, companies may lie to workers by claiming that a low salary exempts them from overtime wage laws. Workers may need to take legal action to obtain the overtime pay they deserve.

Off-the-clock work

Companies that hire hourly workers are often eager to convince them to perform job tasks without pay. They may go so far as to train workers to perform certain functions before a shift begins or after it ends. California law prohibits such practices, meaning that workers might need to initiate a wage claim if they have consistently performed certain job functions before clocking in or after clocking out at the end of a shift.

Altered payroll records

A worker who put in several hours of overtime may look forward to the boost that extra work could offer when they receive their next paycheck. Unfortunately, companies sometimes alter time clock records to either avoid overtime obligations or to diminish the wages paid to each worker. Small adjustments can potentially deprive workers of hundreds of dollars in wages over the course of several months. When the number of hours worked on a paycheck does not reflect an employee’s records of when they clocked in and out of each shift, the company may have done something inappropriate to reduce their wages.

Workers considering a wage claim often band together to have more of an impact when they file a lawsuit against a company that has not paid them in full. Recognizing when a situation involves actionable wage issues could help employees demand the compensation they deserve for the time that they have already worked.