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What Types of Claims are Common in California Wage Cases?

When California employees contact us in their search for an employment law attorney to represent them in an unpaid overtime or other unpaid wage case, their first question is typically – Do I have a case? If so, they want to know what types of claims they might have and how much their case is worth.  

Due to its rather unique and broad wage laws that provide workers with greater rights than under federal law, in California, a wider range of claims are typically asserted in lawsuits filed for violations of the state labor laws. These state specific claims can dramatically increase the value of workers’ wage claims and include:

(a) Violating the California Unfair Competition Laws, by unlawfully, unfairly and/or deceptively

having in place company policies, practices and procedures that failed to pay all minimum and overtime wages due for all time worked;

(b) Committing an act of unfair competition in violation of the California Unfair Competition Laws by unlawfully, unfairly, and/or deceptively having in place a company policy, practice and procedure that failed to correctly calculate overtime compensation due to workers;

(c) Committing an act of unfair competition in violation of the California Unfair Competition Laws,by failing to provide mandatory meal and/or rest breaks to workers;

(d) Committing an act of unfair competition in violation of the California Unfair Competition Laws, by violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the correct federal overtime wages to workers, and retaining the unpaid federal overtime to the benefit of the employer;

(e) Committing an act of unfair competition in violation of the California Unfair Competition Laws, by failing to reimburse workers for necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their job duties.

(f) Violating California Labor Code by failing to accurately pay employees the correct overtime pay to which they are entitled;

(g) Violating California Labor Code by failing to accurately pay employees the correct minimum wage pay to which they are entitled;

(h) Violating California Labor Code by failing to provide employees with all legally required off-duty, uninterrupted thirty minute meal breaks and the legally required rest breaks;

(i) Violating California Labor Code by failing to provide employees with an accurate itemized statement in writing showing all accurate and applicable overtime rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding amount of time worked at each overtime rate by the employee;

(j) Violating California Labor Code, which provides that when an employee is discharged or quits from employment, the employer must pay the employee all wages due without abatement, by failing to tender full payment and/or restitution of wages owed to employees who have terminated their employment;

(k) Violating California Labor Code by failing to reimburse employees for necessary

expenses incurred in the discharge of their job duties; and 

(l) Violating California Labor Code by failing to provide employees their wages by an instrument payable on demand, without discount. 

Need Help Determining If You Have an Overtime or Wage Claim Under California Law?

Although compliance with the California wage and labor laws is technically the sole obligation of the employer, in reality it is important for workers to familiarize themselves with federal and state wage laws in order to protect their fair pay rights. There is a lot of money at stake on this issue and you should seek guidance from an overtime pay lawyer if you have any doubt as to your rights and your employer’s compliance. 

If you have questions or believe that you have been the victim of wage theft due to an improper pay scheme, contact us for a free and confidential review of your situation.