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labor board complaint

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Studies show that as many as 4 out of 5 employees are the victims of wage theft. If your employer owes you money, you have the right to immediately file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner's Office (also referred to as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) or, simply, the labor board) against your employer and have your case heard by a neutral California Labor Commissioner-appointed judge. The judge is authorized to issue a judgment against your employer awarding you unpaid wages, penalties, attorney fees and interest. The labor board does not charge any filing fees or other costs, nor does the labor board impose any penalties against employees who are unsuccessful in their complaint. California Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower has stated that she is committed to protecting the wage rights of undocumented or illegal immigrants. It is against the law for an employer to threaten employees based on their immigration status. It is also against the law for an employer to punish or retaliate against an employee for complaining about wage violations or filing a wage claim with the labor board.

Under California labor laws and the associated wage orders, employers are required to give non-exempt employees who work or reside in the State of California the following wage rights:

Rest Breaks

  • - a 10-minute paid rest break if you work more than 3.5 hours in a day
  • - a second 10-minute paid rest break if you work more than 6 hours in a day
  • - rest breaks cannot be combined with other rest breaks or with meal breaks (with certain exceptions)
  • - rest breaks must be uninterrupted and duty free

Meal Breaks

  • - a 30-minute unpaid meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a day
  • - a second 30-minute unpaid meal break if you work more than 10 hours in a day
  • - meal breaks must be uninterrupted and duty free
  • - employees must be permitted to start meal breaks no later than the end of the fifth and/or tenth hours into their shifts


  • - time and a half if you work
    • a) more than 8 hours in a day,
    • b) more than 40 hours in a week, or
    • c) seven days in a row in a work week
  • - double time if you work
    • a) more than 12 hours in a day, or
    • b) more than 8 hours on the seventh day in a row in a work week

Last Paycheck

If you have been terminated or laid off, you are entitled to receive your final wages upon termination or on your last day of work.

If you resign, you are entitled to receive your final paycheck within 72 hours after your last day of work. However, if you provided at least 72 hours advance notice of your last day, the final paycheck must be provided to you immediately on your last day of work.

Your final wages must include any accrued but unpaid vacation pay (but not sick leave pay).


A manager or supervisor (even if part-time) is not legally allowed to take from your tips or the tip pool. The law treats this as tip theft.

Driving Mileage Reimbursements

If you are required to drive from your employer's office to a job site, your employer is required to pay you a mileage reimbursement at the IRS standard mileage rate. As of January 1, 2023, that rate is 65.5 cents per mile. Employees are also entitled to an award of attorney fees incurred in filing such a claim with the Labor Board.


Your employer is not permitted to take deductions out of your paycheck unless you have agreed to it in writing. Even if your employer has loaned you money, he cannot make any deductions without your written consent. If this is occurring, you are entitled to recover the moneys that were deducted.


If you complain to your employer or the labor board about any of the above wage violations, the employer is prohibited by law from retaliating against you. Retaliation could include a reduction of your work hours, demotion, pay cuts, suspension, termination, etc. If you are the victim of retaliation, you are entitled to file a separate retaliation complaint with the labor board.


Filing a wage complaint with the labor board, can take as little as 30 minutes on the phone.

Even if you believe you are owed as little as a few hundred dollars, the penalties that apply under the California Labor Code and associated wage orders can be thousands of dollars. Penalties can include waiting time penalties, liquidated damages penalties, bounced check penalties, etc.

What You Need to File a Complaint

If you have any of the following documents, please have them ready when you call:

How Long the Complaint Process Takes

Resolving your wage complaint can take as little as a few weeks to as many as a few years. There are many factors involved, including how complicated your complaint is, how backlogged the commissioner and labor board branch office assigned to your case is, how willing your employer is to settle, whether your employer decides to appeal, etc. The labor board was already experiencing delays prior to the pandemic, but those delays have become significantly worse in the wake of the pandemic. The delays continue to this day. Your patience is appreciated.

The Steps in the Complaint Process

The first step in the wage complaint process is to fill out a Form 1 labor board complaint. You will typically need to also fill out a Form 55 attachment that sets out each amount you are owed for each pay period you worked for the employer. If you have a retaliation claim, you will also need to fill out a Form RCI-1.

If you need help with these forms, call us at (213) 992-3299 as the forms can be more complicated than they appear. Incorrect complaints are typically rejected by the labor board and need to be corrected before they can be re-filed. The re-filing process can take weeks or months. We can prepare the forms correctly for you in as little as a few hours.

Incorrectly filled out complaint

Same complaint after correction

In the above example, the claimant had submitted a complaint to the labor board that alleged only $1,274.97 in unpaid straight time and that lacked the required Form 55 calculation exhibit. After correction, an amended complaint was re-submitted that alleged $20,512.34 in unpaid straight time, overtime, meal and rest break premiums, liquidated damages, records penalties and waiting time penalties. In addition, required supporting calculation exhibits, including Form 55, were attached. The amended complaint package was accepted by the labor board.

Next, you need to file your complaint with the correct DLSE office. There are 18 regional DLSE offices assigned to the various cities in California (Bakersfield, El Centro, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Redding, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino ,San Diego ,San Francisco ,San Jose ,Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Stockton, and Van Nuys). Which DLSE office you apply to depends on which city you worked in. Again, this can be trickier than it first seems, as the office that is closest to the city where you worked isn't always the correct DLSE office to file in. Also DLSE office city assignments are subject to change. Filing with the wrong DLSE office can cause months of delay and often requires that you simply re-file your complaint with the correct DLSE office.

If you need help with this, give us a call at (213) 992-3299. We can ensure your complaints are filed with the correct DLSE office.

After your complaint is filed, you will receive a notice of conference from the labor board, typically in 3 to 12 months. At the conference, which you, your employer, and/or your attorneys are required to attend, the commissioner will ask questions, confirm information, and finalize your labor board complaint, which you will then sign. The conference also serves as an opportunity for the employee and employer to discuss settlement.

If there is no settlement, your complaint then proceeds to a final hearing or trial. Trials typically take place from 3 to 24 months after the conference. You may have to request subpoenas from the labor board and have them personally served on your employer and any necessary witnesses to ensure you have the evidence you need to win your trial. At trial, you must submit to the hearing officer or judge a copy of all documents and make available all witnesses required to prove your claim. Most employers will choose to have an attorney represent them at trial. Employees are not required to be represented by an attorney, but doing so is recommended.

The hearing officer or judge will issue their decision, called an ODA for "Order, Decision or Adjudication" within 15 days after the trial, but it will typically take up to a year for the decision to be mailed out to the parties. The parties will then effectively have 15 days to appeal the decision. If there is an appeal, the whole process starts completely over, except this time, your complaint is transferred from the labor board to a California State superior court (where the parties will have to pay court filing fees and other case-related costs, which can amount to hundreds, and in some cases, thousands, of dollars).

If you have won your trial and/or any appeal, and the employer refuses to pay, you will eventually be issued a formal court judgment. At that point, you must begin collection efforts on your own. The labor board may assist you with collection, although it varies by case.

If you need assistance with any of the above, give us a call anytime at (213) 992-3299 and we'll be happy to answer any questions.

DLSE Offices

7718 Meany Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93308
(661) 587-3060


San Diego
7575 Metropolitan Dr.,
Room 210

San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 220-5451

El Centro
1550 W. Main St.
El Centro, CA 92243
(760) 353-0607

San Francisco
455 Golden Gate Ave.,
10th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 703-5300

770 E. Shaw Avenue,
Ste. 222

Fresno, CA 93710
(559) 244-5340


San Jose
100 Paseo de San Antonio,
Room 120

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 277-1266

Long Beach
1500 Hughes Way
Suite C-202

Long Beach, CA 90810
(562) 590-5048

Santa Ana
2 MacArthur Place
Suite 800

Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 558-4910

Los Angeles
320 W. Fourth Street,
Suite 450

Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 620-6330

Santa Barbara
411 E. Canon Perdido,
Room 3

Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 568-1222

1515 Clay Street,
Suite 801

Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-3273

Santa Rosa
50 "D" Street,
Suite 360

Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 576-2362

250 Hemsted Drive,
2nd Floor, Suite A

Redding, CA 96002
(530) 225-2655

31 E. Channel Street,
Room 317

Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 948-7771

2031 Howe Avenue,
Suite 100

Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 263-1811

Van Nuys
6150 Van Nuys Blvd.,
Room 206

Van Nuys, CA 91401
(818) 901-5315

950 E. Blanco Rd.,
Suite 204

Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 443-3041

San Bernardino
464 W. Fourth Street,
Room 348

San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 383-4334


  1. Ryan on January 23, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I work in film/Video production. I production designed a video web series for Refinery29 and the payment terms were NET30. I am now still waiting to be paid and it is 46 days from when I submitted my invoice. Is there some sort of penalty the corporation should be paying me for not fulfilling the payment terms? The producers said that they could not put me in touch with the accounting department so I have been going through them. They now are saying it’ll be next week which will be more that 50 days.

    Also as a freelance filmmaker producers on low budget shows always treat us like independent contractors and 1099 us. But they give us call times and we are expected to work on set for the duration of the shoot day. They break us for lunch at 6 hours and then we work at least another 6 hours for a typical 12.5 hr day. Just to confirm this is illegal isn’t it?


    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      There is a high likelihood you were misclassified as an independent contractor and should’ve been treated as an employee. That would entitle you to late payment penalties, among other things. You should probably discuss your situation with an attorney as they are trained to spot additional violations you might not be aware of.

  2. Patrick Neu on January 10, 2018 at 4:03 am

    I worked 8 out of 9 days in a row.What over time equation works for me.

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      That is impossible to answer. There are 3 kinds of overtime in California:

      1. daily overtime, 2. weekly overtime and 7th day overtime.
      Daily OT = anything over 8 hours in a day
      Weekly OT = anything over 40 hours in a week
      7th day OT = anything worked on the seventh day in a row

      There is also double time in California:
      1. anything worked over 12 hours in a day
      2. anything worked over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day.

      In your case, it sounds like you might be entitled to 7th day overtime, at a minimum.

  3. Khanh on January 6, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Hi my name is Khanh,
    I recently quit my job. Before I quit I was promised that my referal bonus will kick in and be paid. Well I was never paid. I attempted to email the manager and his manager 3 times. I finally got a response from them stated the 2 person I referred were production workers and one of them is only working part time. Still a referal is a referal. It’s 2500 each
    What can i do? Small claims court?
    Thank you in advance

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      You should definitely file a labor board claim. Small claims court is certainly an option, but the labor board is preferable because: 1) the labor board charges no filing fees, 2) if you lose, you aren’t on the hook to pay for the other side’s costs, and 3) labor board commissioners are experts in the labor code, whereas with small claims court judges, it’s hit or miss.

  4. Alex Bilbrew on January 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Hello, my name is Alex Bilbrew and I am having problems getting a conytracting campany to payy me some wages that they owe me. if somebody can help
    me please contact me when ever you can.

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Please call us at (213) 992-3299, and we’d be happy to talk with you.

  5. Janet S. on December 19, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Hello, I was accused of making sexually degrading remarks to a subordinate along with other accusations. No investigation was done to confirm. The person who accused me of the sexual remark later admitted that he made it up because he was frustrated due to his low position on the totem pole position. The other accusations were in fact confirmed as fabricated. My supervisor then said even more people were calling her to complain about me, which was later denied by those she named. After I was initially informed of these things I was told to go back to work. The next day I was suspended, ordered to write a response and not allowed to return to work until I sent my response When my response disputed the accusations, I was fired.

    • Eugene Lee on January 5, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      That sounds like you were defamed, and the employer ratified it. You should contact a labor lawyer immediately as defamation has a short filing deadline.

  6. Janet S. on December 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I’m using an iPad to fill out the form and every time I go to the little circle to answer the question it automatically brings me down to the bottom of the page.

  7. Chris on December 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I have a labor board judgement in my favor against a former employer. What are the steps to collect?

    • Eugene Lee on December 19, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Hopefully the labor board will send you some papers offering to help you collect on your behalf. You will need to fill out, sign, and return those papers IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, you will unfortunately have to either 1) try to collect yourself (not easy) or 2) hire a debt collection firm that is willing to take on your judgment, although they do charge A LOT.

  8. jane d on November 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    employer hired a new manager in my department without posting the job. he is a male (I am female), younger than me, has neither education or experience. he is abusive and demeaning on a regular basis, in the ways he speaks to me and tries to micromanage (even though I am salaried.) I am stressed to the max as this has been going on for months. I would like to quit for my own sanity, and then file claims with labor board. Does this qualify as constructive discharge and entitle me to unemployment? (If it matters, I work 24 hours a week.)

    • Eugene Lee on December 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      That’s a very hard question to answer based on the few facts you have provided.

      First, unemployment law exists in its own world. It has its own judges, appeals and law. If you can demonstrate you had no choice but to quit, you might still qualify for UI, but you’ll have to convince the judge. Maybe you need to see a doctor about putting you on stress leave.

      Second, the labor board is appropriate for some claims and not others. Primarily, the labor board deals with denials of meal breaks and rest breaks, unpaid overtime, unpaid expense reimbursements, illegal deductions, late/unpaid last checks, denied/unpaid sick days, and other wage and hour type issues. If you experienced one of those problems, you would file a labor board claim.

      If, on the other hand, you feel you were harassed or discriminated against based on your age, gender, marital status, sex orientation, medical or physical disability, religion, skin color, national origin, etc., then you would need to file a complaint with the DFEH (Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing) as that is the agency that deals with harassment and discrimination, as well as some types of retaliation.

      If you were injured while on the job, by the way, you would need to file a workers compensation claim. Like UI, that is its own separate world, with its own judges, appeals and law. I would always recommend hiring a good work comp lawyer immediately after you’ve been injured.

      I hope that helps, best of luck to you!

  9. Brooklyn North on November 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I worked for a retail store. I was referred by the manager’s close friend. I am a minor. I never missed a day and was never late. After I was hired, the store manager hired her friend, that referred me, as the assistant manager. They clashed over work issues and her friend quit without notice and ended their friendship. The store manager retaliated against me and one other young girl that was referred by the same person. She told me to input my availability because I play basketball. Once I did that she called me on Thanksgiving and told me she over scheduled and I couldn’t come in on Saturday. I was only scheduled to work the one day for that week so I was disappointed. She said, “oh well sorry I don’t need you.” So on 11/24/17 which was the very next day she called and asked if I wanted my check mailed. I didn’t understand the question since I had direct deposit. She said, “oh I thought you resigned since your availability for the next two weeks is zero.” I explained that I never submitted a resignation. She replied and stated, “that’s what it looks like to me when you don’t have availability for two weeks so I cut your last check. I don’t know what to tell you.” I’m so upset because this wasn’t warranted. I’m very responsible and I never gave her any problems. I have yet to receive my final check and I need to know what my rights are because this can’t be legal. This store is under the Gap Inc umbrella. Please advise…

  10. Devin morris on November 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    My call back number is *** ***-**** devin morris

    • Eugene Lee on November 5, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      We will contact you, thank you.

  11. Devin morris on November 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Hello i work for 1 month and was never paid my check if you look on there facebook page there is a post on there comment page that a person work for 2 months and was never paid his check when he calls the ofice they hang up in his face

  12. Nancy Gordon on October 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Hello I would like to file a wage complaint. I was terminated on 3/26/15. That is when I did not receive my paycheck. I was told several times that when I do not receive a paycheck that is when I will know I am fired. The employer retaliated against me, I was mentally and physically abused on a regular basis. I do have witnesses. A male employee touched my breast as well as slapping me on the behind. I went to the superior and I was blamed and threatened that if I proceeded with a insurance claim I would be terminated.

    I worked 7 days a week. I have a had a back surgery due to lifting a heavy couch up 2 flights of stairs. You name it , this employer broke all of the Labor rules with me. Please Help Me.

    • Eugene Lee on October 27, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Nancy, you have a LOT of issues going on. Let’s take this discussion off-list. Please give me a call at (213) 992-3299. I will be happy to assist you.
      Eugene Lee, Esq.

  13. Liz on October 27, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I worked for a dental office in Sacramento. If we worked over 8 hours they would never pay us overtime. If we worked over 5 hours we never got a 30 min break. We never received any 10 min breaks at all. Some days we worked 7 hours straight thru. Isn’t all of this against the law???

    • Eugene Lee on October 27, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I think you the know the answer to this, but . . . yes, it’s all against the law. That is of course assuming you are a non-exempt employee, but you’d have to meet several very special requirements to truly qualify as exempt. Most employers get exemptions wrong. You should consider filing a labor board claim.

  14. Alexa on October 23, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I worked at a restaurant and was not notified of any paid sick time, on my pay stub it also said i had not accumulated any over the year and a half that i had worked there.. Once i asked my employer to use my sick time, he then paid me for it instead of allowing me to use it. Is it against the law to not let your employees know about their paid sick leave, and if so how do i go about that.. Thank you for your time..

    • Eugene Lee on October 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Alexa, we would need to know more information, like your dates of employment. Please drop me a line at elee@LOEL.com so we can discuss it further off-line.

  15. Selah on October 10, 2017 at 6:28 am

    My father was hired on with a construction company out of Palm Springs in May. According to his contract, he was to be paid 6 months salary and then after that he would be strictly commission. It has been 5 months and he has not seen a dime. His employer has claimed he doesn’t have the funds to pay him. What should he do? It’s gotten so bad that us kids are having to send him money to eat. We don’t have the money to hire a lawyer, but this is extremely urgent! Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

    • Eugene Lee on October 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Selah, your father should immediately file a labor board complaint. We’d be happy to walk him through the process. Please have him call us at (213) 992-3299.

  16. Goretti on October 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    You job have the right to write you up for going late to you lunch if is their fault

    • Eugene Lee on October 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      It sounds like the employer is trying to deflect the blame for the late lunch back to you. But if the fault is the employer’s, you should refuse the sign the write-up, or try to write an objection on the writeup telling your side of the story. Make sure to keep as much of your communication with the employer in writing. Then I recommend you file a labor board complaint.

  17. Leonardo Galvani on September 29, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I work as an after-school program leader for a Charter School in the San Fernando Valley. It work Monday-Friday from 2:10 p.m until 6:00 p.m, which is over 3.5 hours to allow a 10 minute paid rest break. My colleagues and I don’t receive the rest break because we’re dealing with kids all day, and we can’t leave the kids unattended. Can I file a labor complaint? Thank you for your help! Much obliged. 🙂

    • Eugene Lee on October 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Yes you can. However, remember, the employer is only required to make the rest break available to you. They aren’t required to make sure you go on it. If you didn’t take your rest breaks, the presumption may be that you failed to break yourself. You will need to demonstrate that you brought the issue to your employer’s attention or that they otherwise knew you weren’t able to go on your rest break.

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Yes, but make sure you have enough evidence to prove you didn’t get that rest break. A WRITTEN complaint about not getting that break to your bosses will work. Also, witnesses who saw you not getting any rest breaks also help. Once you have evidence, go ahead and file a labor board complaint.

  18. Marisela rivera on September 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    I was working at fashion nova for 4 month work 6 days a week every hour they ask always work over time then my mom had a stroke even that day went they cane to my work after hearing what had happen to my mom denying . They still didn’t let me go couple days later I was at work sick I ask them if I could go home early so I could go to the doctor I ask the manager Kassandra your not gonna fired me she said no so the next day I was so sick blood pressure to high dizzy shaking so I went to they hospital gave me a slip saying to rest for couple day by I only took one day then I told the manager what time do I start I text her call her she said just wait until I get a respond for my other manager then she said I could go back to work I had excused them after waiting they fire me for no reason went througth so much stress almost lost my home it was impact for me and my children still hurting I love my job and please help me because they fired me for no reason it was wrong I was a good worker they treat people like dogs work long hours

    • Eugene Lee on October 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      That sounds like a complicated case. Please give us a call to discuss further at (213) 992-3299.

  19. M. Del Real on September 14, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I started a new job in February i asked my employer if we get payed for overtime after 8 hours in the same day. In their response they say that we didn’t do to the type of work we do which is interior Demolition. There’s been days we work up to 16 hours in straight

    • Eugene Lee on October 3, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      It really depends on the kind of work you do and the industry you’re in, since exceptions may apply. But in general, you must be paid at the overtime rate if you work 1) more than 8 hours in a day, 2) more than 40 hours in a work week, or 3) any hours on the seventh consecutive day worked. You must be paid double overtime if you work 1) more than 12 hours in a day, or 2) more than 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day worked.

  20. Biana on September 7, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    My mother works for a retirement facility as a PM Nursing Supervisor. She is retirement age and is worried about the retaliation from the employer. She gets paid hourly, but they do not provide meal periods or breaks and do not pay premiums or overtime. This is going on for over 7 years. She is also worried because she has a disability and doesn’t want to loose her job, as she is 66 years old. I feel that this is an abuse and it is illegal, especially in the Bay Area. What should we do?

    • Eugene Lee on October 14, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Your mother should file a labor board complaint. Remember, retaliation for filing a wage claim or for protesting violations of the wage laws is ILLEGAL and grounds for a separate complaint.

      Your mother also has the option of filing an anonymous complaint with the labor board Bureau of Field Enforcement. If BOFE investigates and finds violations, they will penalize the employer. The downside, however, is that your mother is not likely to recover all the wages and penalties that are owed specifically to her.

      If your mother would like to talk it over, we’d be happy to speak with her. Please have her call us at (213) 992-3299.

  21. Carey Norton on September 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I was terminated while on disability, 1 week before I was returning. Claimed I didn’t send I in paperwork. My final paycheck (my vacation pay) was not received until 10 days later. My termination date was 06/26/17, but then changed to July 5th. August 7 was given my job back, but had to sign a last chance agreement, and had to take 1 week off using what sick time I had. I don’t know why. I cashed out my 401k because I thought I would have to live on it, taxes took a lot. Shouldn’t they pay me for the 10 days I waited for final pay?

    • Eugene Lee on October 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Carey, your situation sounds a bit complicated (and unusual). Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to walk you through things.

  22. walter smith on August 29, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I was terminated from my job as a cook at Denny’s on hegenberger in Oakland; over mistakingly taking a charger that I believed was mine. When it was announced at the a meeting I attended I admitted that I had possession of it and it was returned. The very next day I was suspended. The General manager Donnie contacted informing me of this pending an investigation into the matter. In the phone call I was interrogated. He kept trying to get me to admit that I knew the charger wasn’t mine when I took it! In other words abusing me of being a thief without saying it. I have text where I sent a photo of my charger that was later found shortly after returning their property but was still terminated! I also mentioned that this wasn’t the reason for him firing me! Specifically I was referring to the fact that I was being harassed after making a complaint about another cook calling me a nigger in Spanish during training! Following up to my termination I was placed under tremendous pressure and constant ridiculed during my training. They reprimanded me for not knowing things I wasn’t properly trained to do and at times having a bad attitude which was a lie. Having bad attitude is different from to defending yourself or trying to press on and refrain from confronting people trying to provoke you into a confrontation! All while working more and being made to feel like I’m not doing enough. So pretty much how it went The cooks reported to Donnie . He’d talk to me saying things like they saying this and that! I made known some but not all of my grievances with Donnie and Preet Assistant manager but I was the one they singled out at the end of the day! The firing justification was that they list $48,000 in revenue because the charger went to a tablet used for Grub hub orders. But I found out that was a lie told by our GM . Because they have numberous back charger’s. I didn’t go into that office the charger was removed by another employee who left it on the door of the office. My back pack was open and I believed someone found it and left it like that because they didn’t know who it belonged to. It was a simple mistake. Not one I would risk losing $16.00 an hour work wage over a phone charger I could purchase for $5.00 easily at a gas station. I was flat out shunned out of their and its unfair what I went through just to work. Through harassment and health code violations like working in a kitchen ankle high in water. Because the drains where clogged and instead of closing until repairs where made we had to cope with that for 3 days. Coming home with drenched blistered feet. I want to sue them. Because it’s my name and credibility they attacked and they need to improve the way they treat their employees. Please contact me.

  23. David on August 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Please contact me about this matter

  24. JT on August 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I received $7500 ($4500 after tax) signed on bonus. I got bully by everyone at the office from day one. Got so frustrated so I quit after 8mths. My employer sent me a letter asking for $7500 back (am negative $3000). The work environment was totally 180 from what I was signed up for. What should I do?

  25. Pedro sanchez on August 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I am a Telecom Service technician , for the last four years a new task was added to my job description , it was to be on call and monitor, fix and maintain a equipment at a 24 hour facilities . I will work my 8 hour shift and a minute after i was on call 2 weeks straight . I will get pages , texts and email at all hours of the day and night I was awaken sometimes from 2-20 times in the midle of the night i will only be compensated when I was logged in working on a resolution . that most likely will only take a few minutes since the equipment went on a self test mode the majority of the time or every week a power test was schedule at different sites were our equipment was installed . in any case I had to respond if needed to the site if a problem occurred. for those 2 weeks straight i couldn’t go any where commit r consume alcohol ,any events , movies or the beach , casinos ,ball games because i couldn’t commit to my family that I was going to be 100% there . for those 2 weeks . 17 weeks a year for 4 years i had the issue . for the first 2 years i was not provided a wireless card so I couldn’t leave my house or go to a place that didn’t have free wifi also the pager woke up my family members. like i said i was only get paid for the amount of time i was logged in even though qa equipment will alert 3/4 times at different hour i was only allowed to charge 15 min for the same call . MY Q= WAS I SUPPOSE TO BE PAID MY HOURLY WAGE OR A FLAT AFTER HOUR AMOUNT TO HAVE PUT MY LIFE ON HOLD ? PLEASE I NEED YOUR ADVISE . thanks ( not my real name since i;m concern on some kind of retaliation )

  26. Nicole Mare on August 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm


    I am an exempt employee, however my salary wage is only $15.50/hr. I manage a 24/7 center, so I am often working over 40 hours per week, though they are not entirely spent in office. I was wondering if I have any options at all, considering I have read that by California Law, exempt employees must make at least double minimum wage ($10.00/hr).

    I would appreciate any help at all. Thank you.

  27. Ronald Chenier on August 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm


    I have won my case and the appeals dead line has passed,

    How would I go about collecting my claim and can you assist?

    • Eugene Lee on August 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Congratulations! I recommend you search for a judgment collection company to assist you. You could try to do it yourself, if you have the time and the inclination, but be prepared for a steep learning curve.

      Here is the Los Angeles Superior Court self-help page on collecting judgments:

      Good luck to you.

  28. Ignacio D. on July 24, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Hello, I am currently working as a math tutor at a charter high school. I am only working for the Summer, approximately, from the beginning of July to the end of August. I have been working here for the past 3 years. Actually, this year will be my 3rd summer working at this company. I have never received a rest break. I work an average of 35 hours a week, which is 7 hours for 5 days. The location does close down for an hour for lunch, but I am more concerned with rest breaks. Last year, I was told to drive from one location to another location to tutor a student in Calculus because I was the only one qualified to tutor that student. When I asked If I was going to be reimbursed for my mileage, the principal told me that it is not in their policy to pay me for mileage. I am a non-exempt employee which i get paid hourly. I’d like to know what would be the best way to handle my complaint and/or file a complaint. My last question, in regard to the sick leave law that was passed in 2015, I do work more than 30 days in a year, and i have never received my allotted time for sick leave… Is there anything I can file about this, meaning is there an infraction in my employer. Thanks. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  29. Alton on July 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Hello I like to know if you received my information I put in
    my name is Alton

    • Eugene Lee on July 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Yes, someone should be getting back to you shortly. Thank you.

  30. Teresa Richards on July 11, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I am not sure if I am contacting the right division of the Labor Department with my claim. Please advise me in this matter. Thank you. Teresa Richards

    • Eugene Lee on July 11, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Teresa, please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we will be happy to answer this question for you. Thank you.

  31. Sheryl on July 5, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I work for a franchised restaurant unit of a major restaurant chain. I started a few months ago as a server and they neither had me fill out an I-9 form nor a W4 withholding form. My employer never even asked for any copy of an ID or SS card when I was hired. After getting my first paycheck I saw that my withholding was taken out as S-1. Also my employer deducts on his own 8% of my sales as a server and puts them on my check to be taxed. This is done with each server. Then there’s a break issue. Since we run a skeleton crew at times the manager has us clock out for our 30 min. break within 5 min. after clocking in so they are sure we have a break. Last but not least when a schedule is put up it is sometimes modified during that work week without informing the employee. This is done by whiting out the day to be modified and then putting in the changed time. If I’m correct all these issues mentioned are labor violations?

    • Eugene Lee on July 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Regarding the tax withholding issues you are experiencing, you would need to contact the IRS and/or the California Franchise Tax Board to lodge a complaint about possible tax fraud. As for the breaks, the California Supreme Court in a called Brinker stated that there should normally be a 10-minute rest break on either side of a 30-minute meal break. If your employer is altering time records to make it appear as if you received all legally mandated breaks on time, that is indeed a violation of law. You should then consider filing a labor board complaint.

  32. Kevin on June 26, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Worked at current location as a Senior Real Estate Manager for the last 8 years. These guys are crooks. They steal from everyone. Extremely dishonest & unethical. The are also racist- they don’t allow any black people to work here. They are screamers & demean you. They, most recently, gave all 401K benefits, except for my team (this team make the most money for the company). Well, they finally gave 401K to us, 3 years later after & had basically said I was going to look for a job with better benefits. Now the problem is, I was told that the benefit would be retro active, and now they are saying, oh no…not retro-active. This on top of the daily demeaning comments, and degrading of work (important to note- I HAVE NEVER had any disciplinary actions given to me. The company (family owned is Persian Jewish & they treat people less than, and they think they motivate you with negative reinforcement.) Just came back form a 3 week stress claim & my boss (one of the owners) is telling me, “you are destroying the relationship”………..Need to pay my rent. How do I successfully sue these guys? I know I can turn them into the Department of Real Estate

    • Eugene Lee on July 11, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Kevin, I would suggest talking to an employment attorney in your area. You should visit http://www.CELA.org and click on “Find a Member”. Most employment attorneys offer an initial consultation that is free of charge.

  33. Monse on June 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Hi i work at a fast food restaurant and we don’t have an ac system for the employees. Whwre we take orders and cook the food it is beyond hot. It is like 108 degrees back there and we, the employees, have talked to the manager and shes “talked” to the owner of the restaurant but the owner doesn’t want to put a new ac system but we are dying in here. Is there anyway or anything we can do so the owner has to put an ac system so it won’t be burning hot!

    • Eugene Lee on June 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

      you should consider making a worker safety complaint to OSHA.

  34. Javier Torres on June 6, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I need this problem resolved. Thank you.

    • Eugene Lee on July 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm


      Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

  35. Javier Torres on June 6, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Please contact me so that I can explain my complaint. Thank you.

  36. Syed fakhir ali shah on October 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I worked at a liquor store for almost 11 months. I was new to this country and didn’t know a lot of things regarding the labour law. I was getting paid under the table (cash) since November last year. My employer started giving me a cheque from June 2016. I was getting just $1000 cheque and he was paying me rest of the cash. I was working 7 days a week and 10 hours everyday. He was paying me $9/hr which is illegal in itself because the minimum wage In California is $10/hr. No meal break , no rest, no vacations, no health coverage no nothing. Now I have decided to file a complaint against the business. The owner/manager of the business is holding my $1000 cheque and not giving it to me. He is also putting false allegations on me and accusing me of stealing from the store. I’m really in trouble and need assistance.

  37. Ferdinand Alexander on September 30, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I worked for a small graphic design firm for over a decade. 98% of my income came
    from this one client and I was paid an hourly wage. Before I realized it I was working
    predominantly on his premises and using his equipment everyday. Sometimes overtime
    in necessary and on occasion weekends. The other little clients I had I did at night or
    on the weekends from my home office. I told him on multiple occasions that I was paying for both sides of the equation in regards to taxes. In addition, I received no vacation pay, no overtime pay, no health care assistance, no holiday pay, etc. We became very close and many times I would end up doing personal things for him and his wife. I was the main designer as there were no other people working there doing what I do which is graphic and web design. He didn’t know how to use the software programs so he had input but most of the time he had little to do with executing the projects on the computer. He controlled the
    clients, how much was charged, what projects I worked on, etc. Eventually, his business slowed down and he was always sidetracked with personal projects, mostly centered on his house. He didn’t need the business as he gets most of his money from an inheritance. So, he decided to close the business and when it was all over he offered me nothing and basically said good luck. I’m 59 years old and obviously not in the same position I was over 10 years ago in terms of starting over. Is there anything I can do to recoup some of what I feel I deserve after more than a decade of hard work and loyalty.? I thought I was an independent contractor and considering his promises and the relationship we had I never expected to be just kicked to the curb with nothing. After further investigation I have learned that I was an employee in regards to my relationship with him. With my other small client
    I did the work out of my home office using my equipment, so now I fully understand that I was an independent in relationship to them. I have some health issues, can’t collect unemployment and I have drained my resources to the point where I may lose my home.
    Do I have any options or recourse or is this yet another example of how certain kinds
    of people get away with things in this society?

    Please advise.

    • aee77 on October 13, 2016 at 8:02 am

      If you were an employee, but he didn’t pay the employers share of the taxes I would look into this with a lawyer. In addition, if he had other employees that he treated differently at any time there may be a good case for discrimination of some sort.
      If you are concerned about putting out the initial expense of simply trying to find out if you have a case, try http://www.rocketlawyer.com . It is inexpensive and I’ve used it to get information on my divorce, a bogus infringement case, and a few other issues. I was able to handle two pretty big problems without even having to hire a lawyer or go to court. I was able to get enough information from the lawyers at rocket law to handle it myself. I think it might be worth checking out. I’m not an affiliate or anything like that, I just really like the option to get the information I want quickly. Another possibility is NOLO http://www.nolo.com . The site is a wealth on legal knowledge and has an enormous amount of information, very easy to navigate in my opinion.

      In any case, I wish you luck.

  38. Thammy on September 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I’m working for this company closely 10 years already, this October is going to be my 10th year. Every year I take 3 or 2 weeks vacation at the time, I have 3 weeks vacaion, this year I asked for 3 weeks vacation and my territory manager told me that the company policy gives out 1 week at a time, so he didn’t let me take 3 weeks off, that’s a lie. I read a handbook and the company policy, It doesn’t say anything about taking vacation 1 week at a time. So I asked for 11 days instead of three weeks, he said, “I’ll give you 2 weeks but I’ll pay you 1 week.” I said ok, I’ll take it. The day before I went on vacation he came and said he didn’t give me two weeks off so I had to come back to work in a week. I told him that I couldn’t because I traveled far . So he said he written me up if I didn’t come back in a week. I had no words to say to him so I just walked out the office, I went on my vacation I came back about five weeks already, he still doesn’t pay me for 1 week. I just gave him two weeks notice, do I still file a complaint, how is it gonna work?

  39. Dunny on September 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Please consider this situation: Ownership changed at my employer about 3 months ago and prior to the change in ownership I had 34 hours of sick time accrued which is reflected on my check stub. After the change in ownership my pay stub indicates that I have zero hours accrued. After bringing this to the attention of HR personnel my employer has not yet adjusted my sick time accrual to reflect the 34 hours I had before the change of ownership. Nor have they paid me for the 34 hours. Nor have they communicated to me that they will take any action. Radio silence on the subject. What can I do?

  40. Chris on September 9, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I have to travel with a company truck everyweek to jobsites sometimes 600 miles away. I stay in a hotel all week and work 12 hours a days doing construction. We only get a half hour lunch and no breaks. The drive time we get doesn’t count as overtime after 8 hours in a day or after 40 hours in a week and we don’t get payed for an hour each way. I worked 44 hours last week, four 10 hour days and 4 hours drive time. My paystub shows 44 hours no overtime. Any idea what I can do or if it’s even worth it?

    • Eugene Lee on September 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Did you a drive a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,000 lbs? Were you crossing state lines or just staying within the State of California? Those answers will determine if you were exempt from overtime (it sounds like you are).

      Even if you are exempt from overtime, you are still entitled to rest and meal breaks. You are also entitled to be paid for all time worked (unless you are being paid per mile or per load, but even there, you have to be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, including hours spent on non-drive tasks). Another thing we see a lot of is illegal deductions by the employer for truck lease payments, insurance, fuel, tires, etc.

      You should definitely talk to someone before deciding just to give up. Most lawyers offer a free and confidential initial consultation. Even if you don’t feel what you are owed is not that much, you shouldn’t forget about the penalties, which can often be much larger than the wages owed.

      • Chris on September 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

        The truck is just a ford 350 crew cab. And yes I work in all of California Arizona and Nevada. I get payed hourly and my boss told me I don’t get overtime after working 8 hours in a day and that legally he doesn’t have to pay me drive time.my paystub will show 50 straight hours no overtime

        • Eugene Lee on September 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

          You should consider filing a complaint as it sounds like you were not overtime-exempt.

  41. unknown_lila on November 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Is there anything i can do about this situatuion?? Ive been working with this company for over a year now and we get paid Bi-weekly on Thursdays. When we get our check from one of the staff member they ask us to cash the check on a friday because there isnt any funds in the account, the check is dated for that thursday. Two weeks ago i got my check and yes they asked me to cash it friday, I was going to have a busy friday and deposited my check on thursday afternoon. I always deposit my check on thursday and my funds are available the follwing day, apparently the funds were available that same day and the check got returned for insuficient funds, I called my bank right away and they said yes it was returned and that they hold it and try to withdraw the funds from my employers account within two weeks so they did it again about one week and 2 days and still there was no funds so my check was returned agian. Now that my account was of course negative from the transactions I’ve made durning that day and the check being returned , my account is now in jeopardy of closing. When i found out that they had tried for the second time and it was returned i told my boss immediately and she wrote me a check, I went to cash it and try to deposit the cash into my account and they would’nt allow me to. My account closed because of the checks being returned.

  42. Mad husband! on November 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Where my wife works they are not allowed breaks. If they work overtime and it was not approved there time sheets are changed. She also had to work 7 hours before she got a lunch today. This kind of thing is happening to her and all of the other hourly employees at her work. If someone could please let me know if there is a better number to call I would appreciate it. I called the number on the site and left a message.

  43. CA on October 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    I and many other employees at the company I started at a little under two months ago have been wrongly classified as independent contractors. I spoke with HR about it and was told that no change will take place for the time being. How should I go about filing with the Labor Board?

  44. GA on August 19, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I started working full time at my current job as the office manager over a year ago. My employer originally stated that he would place me on payroll after a few months. Again it has been over one year and he has not said anything further about doing so. The other seven employees who work in the warehouse are on payroll with workers comp and EDD benefits. I recently found out that in the seven years the company has be open I am the seventh office manager and that scared me a bit as far as job security. All of there other employees have been hear the entire seven years a few of which are undocumented. The owner also pays at least 60-70 hours per month under the table overtime which he sometimes has me pay them and I do not feel comfortable doing this. Its seems that me not being on payroll has benefits for the owner but non at all for myself. Is there anything I should or can do? Thanks.

  45. catlin hayes on August 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I put in 2 weeks notice. They cut me after week was over. Its a week later and they haven’t sent my check. They want me to jump through hoops. Things were heated to begin with and I want to avoid contact/conflict. Would also like to know how they were able to get away without lunch breaks and benefits since everyone working is there over 40 hours a week.

  46. Daniel on August 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I work at a restaurant part-time with 7-hour shifts and an occasional 8-hour shift broken into 4 hours of work, 3 non-paid hours and then another 4 hours right after. We are only allowed one meal break for the 7 hour shift which is around 15-20 mins and it is un-paid. We are given no breaks on the 8-hour shift I mentioned above. Do I have the right to file a complaint even as a part-time worker? (The employer has been telling me the rights only apply to full-time employees).

  47. RC on August 5, 2014 at 9:23 am

    My husband started a new job about 2 months ago. His employers told him that they will add him to the payroll and get him t-shirts soon after he started. None of that has happened and now he hasn’t paid him for 3 1/2 weeks. My husband is still working everyday for him. The problem is he was never added to the payroll, what should we do?

  48. J. Abeldt on July 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    My boss wrote me up for not showing up on a day when I was scheduled to be off. When I asked to see the posted schedule they informed me that they throw away the schedules at the end of each week. Aren’t they required by law to retain the posted schedules for a period of time?

    • Eugene Lee on July 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      I’m not aware of any such law. Unless the schedules are considered part of your payroll records. If you have a union, check your collective bargaining agreement, or if you have company policies or an employment contract with your employer, check there as there might be something about retaining work schedules (a long shot).

  49. Jim Moki Macanas on July 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I get paid with a 1099 working for a used car dealer. Is this legal. My tax preparer says no!!!

    • Eugene Lee on July 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      It sounds like you are being misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. That would be a major violation of the labor laws.

  50. yahoo on July 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I work for a used car dealer and they insist on paying me with a 1099. My tax preparer claims this illegal!!!!

    • Eugene Lee on July 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      That depends on what you do job-wise. But if you are a non-exempt hourly worker, then the fact that you are receiving a 1099 means you have probably been misclassified as an independent contractor. If so, then your employer is breaking the law and the penalties you can collect will probably be in the thousands of dollars.

      — ugh — I see that this is a double post and I already responded earlier . . .

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