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How far back can you claim unpaid wages in California?

| Aug 31, 2020 | wage & hour law

Did you recently discover that your current or former employer failed to pay you all the wages you were owed? Maybe you always knew that something wasn’t right with your paychecks, but you weren’t aware of your wage and hour rights at the time.

Sometimes employers in California ignore the law and fail to pay workers the correct rate for overtime hours, or employers fail to provide the required meal and rest breaks. After years of work, there could be thousands in back wages that you deserve but have yet to receive.

What should you do, and will you be able to collect all that you’re owed?

California has some limitations on how far back you can go for an unpaid wage claim. The first thing to note is that you can file a lawsuit against a current or past employer if they did not pay you all that you are owed. Second, you may have up to four years, depending on the circumstances, to bring your claim. To determine whether you have a claim for unpaid wages, talk to an experienced employment law attorney.

What do you need to make your wage claim?

It’s extremely helpful to have supporting documents to make your claim. Some possible documents you could use to support your claim include:

  • Time records
  • Bounced paychecks
  • Paystubs and paychecks
  • Notice of employment information

Note: unpaid wages may include unpaid commission, unpaid vacation and unpaid reimbursement of business expenses.

Before moving forward with a wage claim, it is a good idea to speak with a California employment law attorney. Your attorney can give you a full list of the documents you should provide to the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Your attorney can also represent you and handle your claim to ensure that no mistakes are made and that your rights and interests are protected every step of the way.