California employment laws offer some of the strongest protections in the world for workers. If you believe your employer has failed to pay you all the wages you are owed, you can file a wage claim and seek compensation for back pay and perhaps additional compensation for what you have endured.
However, you will have to provide evidence showing that you have not been paid your rightful wages. You can do this with the help of an experienced employment lawyer. Following are some helpful pieces of evidence to have.
To support your wage claim, it’s important to have an accurate record of the hours that you worked. This will help determine the amount of compensation you are owed, as well as the rate of pay you are owed. For example, if you work overtime hours, you are owed a higher rate of pay for those hours. Keep in mind, too, that California has very specific requirements for overtime pay, and not all employers follow the rules. For more on overtime wages in California, please see our overtime overview.
It’s also important to provide pay stubs to show the payment that you did receive. You can compare this amount and pay rate with the actual hours you worked and the amount that you were supposed to be paid.
If you received any bounced paychecks from your employer, you should include these along with a reason why the check could not be cashed.
Additionally, if you have any documentation from your employer that guarantees your hours, pay, benefits or any other information relevant to your pay, you should include this documentation in your claim. This can help you prove that your employer did not live up to the promises they made.
You might also need to provide additional forms, depending on the type of claim that you’re filing. For example, if your hours and days were different every week, you may have to fill out a worksheet to provide more information about your work hours. You’ll also need additional documentation if you are claiming unpaid commissions owed to you. More documentation will also be required if you’re claiming unpaid vacation time or business expenses.
Remember, an employment law attorney can help you figure out exactly what documentation you’ll need for a strong wage claim. An attorney can also help you gather documentation that proves that you were not paid the appropriate wages.