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When starting an unpaid employee case, what has to be alleged?

San Jose, CA |

I understand that a plaintiff has to allege the hours they worked and the frequency and their duties.

But is there some requirement to show a certain document, like a contract or something something to do with wages?

My understanding is that you pleading has to be clear and strong or it can be shot down early on.

Is there a guideline to go by?

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Attorney answers 3


The answer to your question depends on what venue you are in. Is this a superior court filing, a small claims filing, or a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement? If you are filing a complaint in superior court, it would be a very prudent thing for you to at least consult with, and better yet hire, an employment attorney to assist you. Most wage claims have an attorney fees right so you may not have to pay anything to have the assistance of a trained professional.

Furthermore, depending on the venue and the causes of action alleged, you may be able to recover more. You really should not try to do this alone.

It is therefore important that you locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you 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.

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Court procedure, legal writing, etc. take some time to learn (1 year of law school.) If you have a good wage claim, why do it yourself. Many employment attorneys take wage cases at no cost to the plaintiff and in many instances get paid by the employer. Many of us offer a free initial phone consultation.


With all due respect, it appears that you have no knowledge whatsoever in regard to employment law. For you to attempt to litigate this matter on your own without guidance from a competent attorney, it is no difference than not being a doctor and attempting to perform heart surgery. You really should consult legal counsel.

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