California has robust legal protections in place to protect workers from wage and hour violations – but they’re not unlimited.
If you want to file a claim about unfair wages, you have to act within the statute of limitations. That’s the timeframe within which any legal action must be initiated.
What are the time limits employees need to remember?
The specific time limit can vary depending on the nature of your claim. In general, here are the basics you should know:
- Minimum wage violations, unpaid overtime, illegal deductions and unpaid reimbursements: The statute of limitations is typically three years.
- Violations of a written contract regarding wages: In those situations, you have four years to file a claim.
- Equal pay claims: If you were denied equal pay for your work simply because of your gender, you typically have two years under the Equal Pay Act to file a claim from the last paycheck you received that was in violation of the law.
While the timeframes mentioned above are standard, it’s good to note that there are often exceptions and variations depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if an employer’s actions are deemed a willful violation of the Equal Pay Act, then the statute of limitations is extended for another year.
If you’ve been denied fair wages for any reason, you have the right to take action – but you must do so in a timely fashion. Waiting too long to seek legal guidance could end your ability to make a claim forever, and navigating the statute of limitations on wage and hour claims by yourself can be complicated.