When you go to work, you have the right to expect that you will receive fair treatment and fair pay for the hours you worked. Unfortunately, that does not always happen for California employees. You may be the victim of unfair wage practices, and you may be unsure of how you can fight for your rightfully earned pay. One of the options available to you is to file a claim with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
Filing a complaint against your employer can be an intimidating process. You may fear what this could mean for your continued employment and future employment opportunities. You do not have to walk through this process alone, and you may benefit from knowing what to expect from the claims process and how you can fight for the best possible outcome to your case.
The claims process
Before you file a claim, you will benefit from taking the steps to determine if you have a valid claim. Once you have decided to move forward with this process, it will be necessary to gather the evidence you need to validate your claim. The more information you are able to provide, the more likely you will be to have success. Other steps in this process include:
- Determine the best way and most appropriate format to file your claim.
- There will be an initial meeting between the investigator and employer.
- The investigator may conduct meetings with other employees.
- There will be an investigation of the employer’s records to determine if there is a violation of federal laws.
- There will be a final meeting with the employer to discuss any issues found.
If there are any wage violations found at the conclusion of the investigation, the employer may have to file back wages owed to employees. Common wage violations include misclassification of employees, failure to pay overtime, failure to pay minimum wage and more.
What to do if you are a victim
California employees have the right to fight for fair pay and recovery of any missed wages that they have earned but not yet received. If you believe that you have grounds to file a claim with the DOL or pursue legal action against your employer, you will benefit from seeking an assessment of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you.