Tomorrow will make it two pay periods! I get paid bi-weekly! I call the company that I work for every weekday to ask wheres my check and what's happening to it! All I get is Ohh really?! And I have heard other former employees saying the same! Please help!
Yikes! California Labor Code § 204: “Labor performed between the 1st and 15th day of any calendar month shall be paid between the 16th and 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed; and labor performed between the 16th day and the last day of the month shall be paid between the 1st and 10th day of the following month.
Therefore, based upon the California Labor Code, an employer is absolutely required to pay an employee. The employer's failure to do so is a violation of the California Labor Code, and also subjects the employer to pay "waiting time penalties".
Under California Labor Code §203, an employer may be liable for a “waiting time” penalty of up to 30 days of pay for the employer’s willful failure to pay wages due a discharged or quitting employee. The penalty applies to the willful failure to pay "any wages," which refers to the definition of "wages" in California Labor Code Section 200. The penalty is measured at the employee’s daily rate of pay and is calculated by multiplying the daily wage by the number of days that the employee was not paid, up to a maximum of 30 days.
An employee who has not been paid wages has two ways to go. The first way is to hire an employment attorney to review all of the facts and determine whether there are other claims against the employer.
The second way is to file a wage claim for the unpaid wages with the California Labor Commissioner. File the claim either by mail or in person with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) office that handles wage claims for the city/location/community where the work was performed.
For additional information regarding waiting time penalties in California, go to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement's website at:
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
Your employer is required to pay you for all the time you work, of course. The employer knows this, and if it not paying, there is a reason. That reason cannot be good. If other employees are in the same boat, it sounds like your employer is in financial trouble. There may be good reason to believe you will never be paid for your past work, or any work in the future. Your employer may be headed toward bankruptcy or closing operations. I suggest you contact the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is a sub-agency within the California Department of Industrial Relations. http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/. The DLSE enforces California's wage and hour laws, including those pertaining to overtime, rest and meal breaks, and more. The link for information on filing a wage claim is here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm.
If you can get other employees to join in with you, you may want to meet as a group with an attorney. Most of the time, employees do better when represented by an attorney as compared to when they are not represented at all, and just go through the DLSE. This is true even though the attorney will be paid for his or her work, and the DLSE provides its service for free. But the DLSE is severely underfunded and understaffed, and does not have the time or staff resources to devote to every case that is filed, especially in this economy, as there are so many cases going through that office.
Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You may wish to speak with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
NOT acceptable! Or legal. I think you need to speak to an attorney right away. If you are an hourly employee, you must be paid within very specific timeframes according to California law, and if your employer fails to do this, you are not only entitled to your back pay, but it subjects the employer to penalties as well, including "waiting time period pay," which is, pay for every day your pay has been late, for a max of 30 days.
The law limits the time you have to bring claims, so I would caution you to act promptly. Whatever you do, don't find a lawyer out of a phone book. There are plenty of good lawyers on this site, and others. Research them, talk to them on the phone, and go with whoever you feel most comfortable with. If I can be of help, feel free to give me a call or email - my firm handles wage/hour cases regularly. The right lawyer will be able to give you an overview of your options. A lawsuit is not always required. Sometimes, it is possible to settle cases privately without years of litigation. In this case, you may have a class action or mass-claim situation, especially if there are several of you who are being asked to work without pay.
Take care, Rabeh
PLEASE READ: ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL. I am providing you with general comments, not legal advice. Nothing in this answer creates an attorney-client relationship nor constitutes legal advice, as I do not know the facts of your case well enough to be able to guide you, nor am I making any promises about the outcome of your case, or any guarantees about my capabilities, skill level, or predicted success. If you would like to retain me to provide you with legal advice, please contact me and we can discuss the engagement.
You should sue the employer or threaten to do so. How much do you get paid each pay period? Call a local lawyer to get their assistance. Good luck.
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