Compensation for a California Unpaid Wage Claim

documentation of salariesHas your employer failed to pay you the wages you are entitled? You may be able to file a lawsuit or a claim with the California Labor Commissioner to recover what you are owed. You may also be entitled to other forms of compensation because your employer broke the law.

Our Sacramento employment attorneys are here to help if you are the victim of unpaid wages. Request a free, no obligation consultation today to determine your potential legal options.

California Wage Laws

Employers must follow the minimum wage laws that are most beneficial to the employee. In California, the state minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, so employers must pay employees according to the state laws.

As of January 1, 2018, California minimum wage is $10.50 per hour for companies with 25 or less employees and $11.00 per hour for companies with 26 or more employees. These numbers increase to $11.00 per hour and $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2019.

Individual cities may have a higher minimum wage – when this happens, employers must pay the higher minimum wage. In restaurants, employers are not permitted to count a server’s tips toward minimum wage requirements.

California's overtime laws state that employees must be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. Employees must also be paid overtime for the first eight hours of work on the seventh day worked in a row. Time-and-a-half is 50 percent more on top of an employee’s normal hourly pay.

Employees working more than 12 hours in one day are entitled to double time for hours worked beyond 12. Double time must also be paid for hours worked beyond the first eight on the seventh day worked in a row. Double time is twice the amount of the employee’s normal hourly pay.

Penalties for Unpaid Wages

If your employer fails to pay you wages you are entitled to, the employer may be required to pay penalties for the unpaid wages. Penalties may be assessed in addition to your unpaid wages plus interest.

Penalties include:

Missed Breaks

Penalties for missed breaks include one hour of pay for every day you were not allowed to take one or more meal breaks. Employees in California have the right to take a 30-minute unpaid meal break for every five hours worked.

Rest Breaks

California law gives employees the right to a paid 10-minute break every four hours. If you are not allowed to take rest breaks, your employer may have to pay a penalty of one hour of pay for each day you were not allowed to take one or more rest breaks.

Liquidated Damages

Liquidated damages are an amount equal to the total amount of your unpaid wages for minimum wage violations.

Waiting Time

If an employer fails to pay you on time when you leave the company, a waiting time penalty may be assessed. Penalties equal your average daily pay for every day the employer is late paying your earned wages. The penalty can be enforced for up to 30 days of waiting time. This penalty applies only to former workers, not a company’s current employees.

Attorney Fees

If your employer is found to have broken wage laws, you may be entitled to attorney fees. This means your employer must pay for your attorney’s fees associated with pursuing an unpaid wages claim.

Contact Our Sacramento Employment Lawyers for Help

The Sacramento employment lawyers of Arnold Law Firm can help you pursue an unpaid wages claim against your employer. We will fight to recover the compensation you are owed and hold your employer accountable.

Request a free, no obligation consultation today and learn your legal options. There are no upfront fees when you work with our firm and we are only paid if we recover compensation for you.

Call (916) 777-7777 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form now.