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Unpaid overtime and company is moving location, can I get help for these?

Los Angeles, CA |

He got hired part-time last spring for a boat rental company. He's been making $8 an hour. It's been a year, he's still being paid $8 an hour, he's worked many overtimes, sometimes 16 hours. The company recently got removed from the Marina to Oxnard, which is about an hour away. He's asked for a raise many times, the manager keeps giving him the run-around, but they want to keep him as an employee. If he keeps working for them, he'd be driving about 100 miles per day to go to work, nothing compensated for his dedication and time. They just recently gave him a $1 raise so that would be $9, I told him it's not worth it. What can he do to get his unpaid overtime, and can he do something about his hourly, the job and hourly doesn't really look fair.

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Attorney answers 3


The person about which you speak has a choice: keep working for the wages he is being paid or quit and find another job. As long as the employer pays for all of his time at minimum wage or higher (including overtime when due) the employee has no way to force the employer to pay more because it is fairer to do so.

As to the overtime not being paid, there are several ways to deal with that situation.

First, he can do nothing for the time being except to keep track of all of the overtime he is working. Then, after he finds a new job, he can make a claim. That approach assures him that any possible retaliation will not end a job upon which he is financially dependent.

Second, he can make a demand to be paid the overtime. He should do this in writing if that is the approach he takes.

Third, he can have an attorney write a demand letter to the employer seeking the back overtime.

Fourth, he can file a small claims lawsuit seeking the prior overtime.

Fifth, he can file a superior court lawsuit seeking the prior overtime and an order that the employer pay him overtime going forward.

Sixth, he can file an administrative claim with the Labor Commissioner's Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

There are many options and each have their strengths and weaknesses. His best approach would be to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore his facts and determine his options. I would suggest he look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Good luck to you and to him.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


Concerning unpaid overtime: File a wage claim with the State - very effective (please see the post at the link below).

Concerning hourly pay: As long as he is being paid at least minimum wage (which apparently is the case), the amount is a business, rather than legal, issue. A lawyer is not likely to be especially helpful. He is free to try to negotiate higher pay, and to look for a job elsewhere that will pay more.

This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


If you are an hourly employee you are entitled to receive overtime pay over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week... An employer does not have give an employee a raise if they don't want to. I think he should quit this job and go to the Labor Board and file a claim and try to have them help get his overtime paid. You don't need an attorney if you go to the Labor Board.

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