Filing a Wage and Hour Claim with the California DLSE
Step 1 - Do you have a claim?You may have a claim if your employer failed to do one of the following things:
o Unpaid wages (including overtime, commissions and bonuses) - Labor Code ?? 200, 201, and 202
o Wages paid by check issued with insufficient funds - Labor Code ? 212 and 203.1
o Final paycheck not received - Labor Code ?? 201, 202, and 203
o Unused vacation hours which were not paid - Labor Code ? 227.3
o Unauthorized deductions from paychecks - Labor Code ?? 221 and 224
o Unpaid expenses - Labor Code ? 2802
Step 2 - Gather factsGather all your
o Pay stubs
o Time logs / time sheets
o Bounced Checks
o Notice of employment
o Collective Bargaining Agreement (if any)
o Notes about hours worked
o Statements from other co-workers about hours worked
Step 3 - Prepare a DLSE Form Complaint (updated July 2012)Download, complete, and print the Initial Report or Claim, DLSE Form 1 (Revised 07/2012). The Form 1 claim form is accompanied by two information sheets to assist claimants. The "Instructions for Filing a Wage Claim" explain which documents and forms should be submitted by claimants in order to file a wage claim. If you need assistance in filling out the Form look up a lawyer who specializes in wage and hour disputes or employment and labor law.
The form can be found here http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm and it was recently updated in July of 2012.
Step 4 - File the complaint!File your 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 you performed the work. To locate such office, got to http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Cal-CitiesB.asp for an alphabetical listing of cities/locations/communities.
The claim form CANNOT be filed electronically or by fax. If your internet browser supports email of pages, DO NOT use this feature to submit your claim form as an original signature is required. You MUST print and either mail or hand-deliver a copy of your claim form to the DLSE office that handles wage claims for the city/location/community where you performed the work.
Step 5 - Attend settlement conference and hearingYou will be notified in the mail regarding settlement conferences and hearings. Make sure to attend. If you hired a lawyer, he or she will be able to go with you and represent you at those events.
Step 6 - Wait for ruling and collectWait for your award and then collect your owed amounts.