Filing A Wage And Hour Claim 101 

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Denis ZilberbergJune 22, 2021Wage & Hour Law

In California, an employee has two choices for filing a wage and hour claim: (1) they can file with the Labor Commissioner’s Officer, or (2) they can file with the Superior Court of California. It is important to know where to file your claim, as it may affect the outcome of your case. The attorneys at The Kaufman Law Firm can walk you through filing a claim, and an experienced Westlake Village wage and hour dispute attorney can help you decide where to file your case.

Filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office

It is appropriate to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office when you have experienced wage theft. The most common examples of wage theft are found here. Filing a wage claim is the first step in the process to collect on unpaid wages or benefits.

Independent contractors are not provided the same basic labor rights as an employee and therefore, the Labor Commissioner’s Office does not have jurisdiction over their claims. Though, if someone is misclassified as an independent contractor, they can file with the Labor Commissioner’s Office and a hearing can be held to determine the person’s classification as an independent contractor vs. employee.

If you believe the Labor Commissioner’s Office is where you should file your claim, then you can go through these steps to file your claim:

  1. Contact a wage and hour dispute attorney
  2. Make sure your filing is timely—refer to the California Department of Industrial Relations to know the time frame for your claim.
  3. Obtain all required supporting documents:
    1. Time records
    2. Paychecks and paystubs
    3. Bounced checks
    4. Notice of employment information
    5. Collective bargaining agreement
  4. File the claim and supporting documents
  5. Attend the settlement conference
  6. Wait for the notice of hearing (if not settled)
  7. Attend Hearing

Filing a claim with the Superior Court of California

If there are multiple issues or more complex wage disputes, the Super Court of California is a more appropriate place to file a wage and hour claim. If you are filing with the Superior Court of California, you will no longer be filing a claim but rather starting a lawsuit.

This is a little more daunting. However, if there are multiple legal issues, complex issues, or it involves substantial sums of money, a lawsuit may be the best way to fully resolve the dispute.

California employees can file a lawsuit when an employer has violated the state’s wage and hour laws. The most common wage and hour law violations in California include, but are not limited to:

All workers in California should know their rights and when their rights are being violated. The Department of Industrial Relations and its Labor Enforcement Task Force have compiled a booklet to provide California workers with their basic labor rights.

Helping you with your clam

If you suspect your employer is violating or has violated wage and hour laws, or you have been the victim of wage left, contact The Kaufman Law firm to schedule your initial case evaluation with a Westlake Village wage and hour dispute attorney.

It is important to contact your attorney immediately because wage and hour claims have strict deadlines and penalties. Contact The Kaufman Law firm before you file your claim to avoid unnecessary complications and to help make the appropriate decision for your circumstances.


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