Can I Sue My Employer For Not Paying Me On Time In California?


If you reside in California and your employer has failed to pay you on time, you may be wondering if you have the right to take legal action. Fortunately, California labor laws provide protections for employees in these situations. Understanding your rights and the steps you can take is essential to ensure you receive the wages you deserve.

Before taking action to protect your rights and seek the compensation you are entitled to, here are the things you need to remember:

California Labor Laws Regarding Timely Payment of Wages

In California, your employer is legally obligated to pay you promptly according to the state’s labor laws. The California Labor Code clearly states that all wages earned by an employee must be paid on a regular payday, which shouldn’t be more than 10 days after the end of the pay period. 

California Last Paycheck Law also states that employees who are terminated or do not make the choice to leave their position must be given their final paycheck on their last day of employment. 

If your employer consistently fails to pay you on time, or fails to provide your last pay on your final work day, they’re violating the law. In such cases, you have the right to take legal action against your employer. 

You can file a wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) or even take your case to court. 

Understanding Your Rights as an Employee in California

Understanding your rights as an employee in California includes knowing your entitlements when it comes to timely payment. In California, employers are required to pay their employees on time according to a regular pay schedule. Employers are also required to provide you with a written notice that states your rate of pay, the designated paydays, and any other terms related to your wages. If your employer fails to provide this notice, they may be subject to penalties.

Steps to Take When Your Employer Doesn’t Pay You on Time

Take action if your boss is consistently late with your paycheck. But first, talk to your employer and try to resolve the issue informally. Sometimes, they may not be aware of the problem or there may have been an honest mistake. 

If talking to your employer doesn’t resolve the issue, you can file a wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). They’ll investigate your claim and help you recover any unpaid wages. 

It’s important to document any conversations or agreements with your employer and keep records of your work hours and pay. 

Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer in California

If the issue is still persistent, you might consider seeking legal recourse against your employer. Filing a lawsuit against your employer can be a way to enforce your rights as an employee.

The first step is to gather evidence of the unpaid wages, such as pay stubs and timesheets. It’s also important to keep a record of any communication with your employer regarding the issue.

Next, you should consult with an employment attorney who specializes in wage and hour laws in California. They can guide you through the process and help determine if you have a valid case.

If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, your attorney will help you file the necessary paperwork and represent your interests in court. Remember, it’s important to act quickly as there are strict deadlines for filing wage claims in California.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.