Now, more than ever, it is important to secure a job and good income. Because one does not know what the future holds, employees in California and elsewhere should ensure that they are being properly compensated for the work they have completed. Whether this is based on an employment, business or contractor agreement, if an employee believes that they are not being paid the wage they are owed for the hours work and work completed, it is important that they understand what rights and options they have when it comes to protecting their rights as a worker in the state.
Filing a wage claim
When an employee in California is not paid by his or her employer, they have the right to file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. This claim starts the process to collect these unpaid wages or benefits, and this claim is for all workers in the state regardless of their immigration status.
When a wage claim is filed, the Labor Commissioner’s Office will investigate the claim, determining whether or not any wages or benefits are owed. Most often, this results in a settlement conference between the employee and employer as a means to resolve the matter. If the settlement conference does not resolve the matter, a hearing will be scheduled.
Wage Claim hearing
At the phase of the process, a hearing officer will review the evidence provided, helping them make a decision on the claim. The information they will look at includes information about the employer and any responsible parties. Additionally any documentation of hours worked and any breaks taken along with pay stubs should be provided. Finally, any employment contract that details the employee’s pay rate and information regarding overtime pay should be compiled and provided to the hearing officer.
A wage and hour claim may be the best step for an employee to take; however, these matters can get complex. Thus, it is important that one understands this process, ensuring all the necessary steps are taken. Additionally, an employee should take the time to understand their rights when it comes to addressing any and all issues related to their claim concerning their wage and hours worked.