California Law when an Employer Refuses to Pay an Employee
Under California law, employers are required to pay their employees for all hours worked, including regular wages, overtime pay, and any applicable bonuses or commissions. If an employer refuses to pay an employee, the employee may file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or file a lawsuit in court.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office enforces California’s wage and hour laws and has the authority to investigate wage claims and order an employer to pay back wages and penalties. Employees may also be entitled to damages, such as interest on unpaid wages, waiting time penalties, and attorney’s fees.
If an employer fails to pay an employee their wages, the employee may also be entitled to file a complaint for retaliation or wrongful termination. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under California’s wage and hour laws or from terminating an employee in violation of public policy.
It’s important for employees to keep accurate records of their hours worked, including any overtime hours, as well as any wages or benefits owed by the employer. If an employee believes they are not being paid properly, they should bring the issue to the attention of their employer, in writing if possible, and document all attempts to resolve the matter. If the employer does not resolve the issue, the employee should consider filing a wage claim or speaking with an employment law attorney for guidance.