Employee rights: Options for recovery of unpaid wages


Workers in all industries in California deserve to receive full remuneration for the jobs they do. The Fair Labor Standards Act governs what employees must be paid, and an employer’s failure to comply can be reported to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. These laws cover unpaid overtime as well as full salaries that are withheld in violation of employee rights.

Any employee who receives no wages at the end of the week or month has several options. The first is to keep working and hope wages are forthcoming soon. Having a conversation with the boss might help — even if it is only to learn that the business is experiencing cash flow problems. If the employee loves the job and can hold out for the business to improve, he or she can do so. However, it is essential to keep a proper record of all work done along with outstanding wage payments,preferably signed by the boss.

Another option is for the worker to quit. Resigning from a job does not bar the right to pursue recovery of unpaid wages. The best route might be to send out resumes and actively seek alternative employment. This can be done while hanging around at the nonpaying job or after quitting.

California workers whose employee rights are violated in this way might have questions about their legal options. A consultation with an experienced employment law attorney can provide the answers. Once informed choices are made about how to proceed, the lawyer can help to pursue recovery of unpaid wages that are within the applicable statute of limitations.

Source: FindLaw, “My Employer Stopped Paying Me, What Should I Do?“, Molly Zilli, April 16, 2018

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