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CaliforniaEmployment LawWage TheftWrongful Termination

Legal Compensation For Wage Theft In California

By Walton Law APCSeptember 1, 2022February 20th, 2024No Comments
All employers in California are obligated to pay their employees according to certain legal standards. Employees that are paid an illegally low wage or not paid in full can seek compensation in court. However, you should have a clear understanding of all the possible types of compensation before you file a complaint against your employer. It’s recommended that you consult with an employment lawyer for a better understanding of the minimum wage requirements and legal compensation rules applicable to you.
Employers in California are required to do the following:

1. Minimum wage: Least minimum wage as of January 1st, 2022 is $14 an hour for companies that have less than 26 workers and $15 an hour for others. There are specific cities in California that are required by law to have a higher minimum wage than the state requirement.
2. Overtime pay: Non-exempt employees need to be paid overtime for any hours they work exceeding 8 hours in a single workday and 40 hours in a workweek. The stipulated overtime rate is 1.5 times the base hourly rate. In addition, employers are also required to pay their employees at 1.5 times the regular rate for the first 8 hours on every 7th consecutive work day in a week.
Additionally, employers are required to double the regular rate of an employee for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours on a regular workday and all hours worked in excess of 8 hours on the 7th consecutive workday.

Types of Available Compensation for Lost Wages

You can take your employer to court if they don’t pay as per according to the above-stated
terms. Your employer may be required to pay for all or any of the following damages:
  • Unpaid wages: the employer would be required for compensating you in full for any
    missed wages
  • Penalty for waiting time: The judge may ask the employer to pay an additional penalty
    under California law. This can be equivalent to 30 days’ (calendar) worth of wages.
  • Legal fees: The judge, under certain circumstances, may also order the employer to pay
    for legal fees associated with the lawsuit
Legal action becomes necessary when employee-employer disputes regarding wages cannot be resolved directly. Experienced employment law attorneys can help provide guidance on available options.

Penalty for Payday Law Violation

You may be able to collect penalties for violations of payday law if you file the lawsuit under the Private Attorneys General Act as a ‘private attorney general’. This means you would be filing on behalf of the state for to enforcing the California Labor Code. Employers are normally required to pay wages to their employees wages at least twice a month on designated paydays if they are eligible for earning overtime. The employer can be asked to pay a penalty of $100 (first pay period) and $200 (subsequent pay periods). This is a per employee penalty. You should know that the state gets to keep 75% of the compensation when filing as a private general attorney.

Talk to a Dedicated Employment Law Attorney Today

The penalties available to employees for filing a wage theft claim are significant in California. You should consider meeting the experienced employment attorneys at Walton Law if you believe your employer violated wage and hour laws. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call (866) 338-7079 or write to us online.