When an employee is not paid their due wages, either because of a mistake or because their employer is wrongfully withholding wages, the resulting legal situation can be very stressful and confusing. This is especially true when the employee does not hire a competent Orange County employment attorney to fight for their rights and obtain compensation for their losses. If your employer is not paying you the wages you are supposed to be receiving, don’t hesitate to hire an experienced Orange County labor lawyer.
Although some wage claims for unpaid overtime or meal breaks can be handled by the Labor Commission, it is unlikely that your overtime or meal break claim will resolve there. if it does not, you may prejudice your rights by filling out paperwork at the Labor Commission that does not accurately reflect your working hours, or the extent of your labor claim. In addition, it is unlikely that all penalties and interest on your wage claim will be recovered by the Labor Commission through settlement of adjudication of your overtime or meal break case. An experienced Orange County Labor attorney is much more able to assist you in obtaining proper compensation on your overtime or meal break claim. If you have a dispute about unpaid commissions, that is likely to be beyond the capacity of the Labor Commission. The same is true for complicated prevailing wages cases or a case in which you were paid less that you were supposed to be paid.
The first step to take in a wage and hour claim before an administrative agency is to complete the Initial Report of Claim form through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). It would be wise to do so with the counsel of an employment lawyer. After submitting the form, your claim will be reviewed by a Deputy Labor Commissioner who will decide whether or not a conference should be held. If they decide in the affirmative, a Notice of Claim Filed and Conference will be mailed to you with the time, date and location of your conference.
At this informal meeting, you and your employer will speak with the deputy about the claim in order to determine whether there are legal grounds to continue and if the issue can be resolved outside of court. If not, a hearing will be scheduled and a Notice of Hearing sent to both parties with a time, date and location. At the hearing, the employee must be represented by an attorney with the skill and knowledge to prove that their rights have been violated and that compensation should be paid to the employee for the damages suffered.
If you have a labor attorney, depending on the nature of your claim to unpaid wages, your labor lawyer may or may not choose to file your claim for wages with the Labor Commissioner. An experienced Orange County labor lawyer knows which wage claims must be filed before an administrative agency and which do not have to be. Filing an administrative claim with the Labor Commission is a waste of time if it isn’t required and you have an Orange County labor lawyer to obtain your unpaid wages. If you are owed significant unpaid wages, minimum wage, overtime, prevailing wages or meal or rest breaks, you will probably receive better compensation and results in your wage dispute than the Labor Board could obtain for you with or without a labor lawyer.