Employers have the upper hand over employees, which leaves workers prone to mistreatment. When mistreatment does happen, it often comes in the form of underpaying workers. Workers throughout California can take legal recourse against employers when wage disputes arise.
What constitutes a wage dispute?
Most people feel like they should receive better compensation for their labor. In terms of employment law, however, employees in California can’t file wage dispute claims with the Labor Commissioner’s Office simply because they think they deserve a higher wage or salary.
Employers have an obligation to compensate employees for their labor at an agreed-upon rate. In U.S. employment law, employees have valid wage disputes when:
- They’ve received less than the wage they’ve agreed to work for.
- Employers flat-out refuse to compensate employees for their labor.
- Employers pay less than the federal or state minimum wage.
- Employees don’t receive a pay adjustment for overtime hours.
Filing a wage dispute claim
In California, employees can file wage dispute claims by visiting any branch of the Labor Commissioner’s Office. You can also make claims via email or mail. The Labor Commissioner’s Office requires claimants to include supporting documents such as time sheets, pay stubs and employment contracts with their claims. Keeping careful documentation will help employees prove that their employer previously negotiated a wage but has not held up their end of the contract to pay an employee.
Dealing with an employer that doesn’t pay you fairly for your labor is disheartening. People going through wage disputes may be able to protect themselves by getting help from an experienced employment law attorney. Attorneys may help gather and organize evidence as well as represent affected employees in court.