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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. LUANNA COWAN on October 18, 2018 at 3:20 pm


  2. Kelly J on September 26, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I work for a local Parks and Recreation facility. I am wondering if as a manager I have any rights? Up until a month ago I have always had a flexible schedule since I am a part time manager and work another job that works me 6 hrs. It is really 6.5 but I have a half hour lunch break. I never had any notice that I needed to have set hours then all of a sudden after 5 yrs of employment I am being told that I have to put my hours on the schedule. My hour were listed as “Manager’s Hours Vary”. However my Supervisor at the time knew my hours ans well as my staff. Also as minimum wage has gone up my hourly wage has stayed the same. I was told by my supervisor that since I worked 150 hours in July I could not ask for a raise to stay a dollar above my staff. I was told I should of gotten an increase when everyone else did. Is this true? As an employee of Parks and Recreation we are only allowed to work 999.9 hours in a fiscal year. However I have been told that I can not work 150 hrs as they would have to make me full time. Is this true? Also they do not like to let us work our 999.9 hrs as they want to keep us at 990 and once we reach that they will not allow us to work the next 9 hrs in case they get audited. I have always been that manager who has gone above and beyond. Working extra hours and not using my hours. I take all calls and text messages from my staff no matter what time of day it is. I do not list that as hours worked. Up until a year ago we never even received any type of sick pay. About a year ago they started giving us hours for sick pay but never told us why we did not get any before. Can you please help answer some of my concerns? My husband and I used you about a year ago for his place of employment. You were a great help . Thank you for your time.

  3. Tammy Chance on September 18, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    At Morgan Alarm it was required to work straight 8hours. Take lunch at your desk, a refrigerator in a empty office area, no sitting area. Meals eaten at your desk and you were required to stay logged in to answer alarms and phones. No 10 minutes breaks ever. Only running water was in the bathroom. Only the last 5years of the 22 years I was there did we have access to dispensed water.

  4. IVAN on September 14, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Its legally to get pay but not pay stuff? Not records how much they pay hourly or how many hours I work?

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      You are supposed to get a pay stub with each paycheck. That paystub must disclose numerous items, including your hourly rate, how many hours you work, your sick pay balance, your vacation balance (if you get paid vacation/PTO), etc. If that isn’t happening, you should consider filing a labor board complaint.

      • Lorissa on September 27, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        I have a few questions. Who do I report a cleaning company to who cleans businesses without a business license only a residential license? Also, having us employees clean a house that is very unsanitary (animal urine and feces). It makes it hard to breathe with how bad the smells are. Last, if we are driving our own cars and getting compensated for miles how much are we suppose to be compensated?

  5. Rodel on September 14, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Last September 3, 2018 (Monday) was labor holiday, then I worked the next 4 days: Tuesday, Wednesday , Thursday and Friday regular hours. That would supposed to be completed my 40 hours week. My work need me to work the next day which is Saturday and I worked 6.5 hours on that Saturday, I was thinking that 6.5 hours will fall into overtime hours rate. When I received my pay stub, that 6.5 hours converted into regular hours and the management says that hours will complete the 40 hours week. Is that fair and legal? my other co-employees did not work on that Saturday but they get paid the same 40 hours on that week. Should I get paid Overtime on that 6.5 hours or not?

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Well, holiday hours don’t count toward the overtime calculation. Only hours actually worked. So assuming you didn’t work on Labor Day, you couldn’t count those 8 hours toward the 40-hour weekly overtime threshold. I hope that answers your question. If it didn’t, please feel free to call us at (213) 992-3299.

  6. Shawn DeLaittre on August 29, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I was never paid once for overtime which consisted for over 3 1/2 months.

    • Eugene Lee on August 29, 2018 at 7:13 pm

      Assuming you are a non-exempt hourly worker, you may have a claim for unpaid overtime, which can carry significant penalties. Please feel free to give us a call to discuss at (213) 992-3299.

  7. Brian S on August 14, 2018 at 4:57 am

    My wife traveled to Europe for work in June and the company required her to submit an application for a company credit card that would be issued to her on her personal credit, not the companies. She was told that they don’t issue corporate credit cards on the companies credit anymore. The card was to be used for travel expenses and per diem. Her receipts and expense report were submitted as soon she returned and then re submitted repeatedly and with the help of H R. All have been denied with no explanation and the bill is now late and dinging her 850 credit score. Since the company opened this account on her credit we are blocked from making the payments ourselves but are being penalized instead of the company. This is all over less than $250. Airport parking, one fast-food meal and one taxi ride from the hotel to the airport in Europe. What is her next step? We are looking to buy a new home very soon and damage to her credit will cost us much more than $250 in the long run!

  8. Lynn on August 13, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I think that my employer is violating labor laws regarding lunch breaks on a fairly regular basis – especially when people work over 10 hours – we’ve certainly never been told about the second lunch break allowance. I don’t think I qualify because of the position I’m in but I’m worried about other employees. Can an audit be done without a specific person using their paystubs?

    • Eugene Lee on August 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      You can make an anonymous complaint to the DLSE Bureau of Field Enforcement if you wish. However, BOFE is extremely backlogged and you may not get a response for a long long time. The other alternative is for someone who isn’t getting their lunch breaks to file a labor board complaint. That is certain to get a response that is much sooner. If you want to talk it over, please feel free to call us at (213) 992-3299, we’d be happy to discuss your company’s situation.

  9. Kari KennedyMeade on August 9, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Last year in April I had left on a medical leave and to have a total hip replacement. My doctor had said that out I would be out for 3 to 4 months. When I was ready to go back to work I turned in doctors release to go back to form and only worked 2 days since. I was collecting unemployment but now has ran out of funds. I had wrote the HR 2 emails asking why I am not working and got no reply. I sent 2 other emails to the main office and got no reply. I have never been terminated/let go from my job, I don’t even know if i am still employed or not. Just don’t know where I stand regarding this matter.

    • Eugene Lee on August 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Please give us a call on Monday at 213-992-3299. I suspect you may have a disability discrimination case, but I need to find out if your situation meets the requirements.

  10. Marji Bostick on August 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I resigned my position giving 12 business days notice. I had accrued 16 paid days off but my employer said I had none. When I was given information regarding my paid time off the calculations did not match their statements. I have tried for a week now to resolve the issue with and found out today that the controller is on vacation for 2 weeks. She left with no reply to my last email requesting payment. At this point I feel my only option is to file a claim

    • Eugene Lee on August 8, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Marji, I agree, you need to file a claim. At this point, you are owed not only for the unpaid vacation time, but also for waiting time penalties. If you’d like to talk it over, please feel free give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  11. Jim on August 6, 2018 at 9:55 am

    My wife gave her manager a verbal 2 weeks notice on July 26, 2018 that she would be resigning her position (her last day would be August 9th). She followed that up with a written notification on the following Monday, July 30th at which time her manager informed her that, “we have decided your last day will be Friday (August 3rd). When she left work on her final day, Thursday, August 2nd (because she doesn’t normally work on Fridays) she asked when she will receive her final paycheck and she was told she would receive it on the next normal payday, August 10th. I believe she should have been given a final check when she left work on August 2nd because she gave 2 weeks notice and they changed the date to earlier. Am I correct? They also have told employees to remove overtime from their timecards in the past if it wasn’t approved in advance, which I believe is illegal. To date she has not received her final paycheck.

    • Eugene Lee on August 7, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      Yes, you are correct. She resigned effective 8/9/18. However, her employer terminated her early as of 8/2/18. The employer should’ve had her check ready for her at her usual place of work on 8/2/18. So I believe your wife has a claim for waiting time penalties. And yes, “removing” overtime that wasn’t approved is illegal. Even if unapproved, the overtime was still worked so it must be paid, end of story. The employer’s remedy is to discipline/writeup the employee for doing that, but the overtime must still be paid regardless. I’d recommend you go ahead and file the labor board claim. If you want to talk it over, feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  12. Herrera on August 2, 2018 at 7:27 am

    My Boss promised me a Position(promotion). I have been working there 5 years graveyard shift. I have excellent reviews been Sr Lead/Supervisor of crew. My Boss and Dir of Ops have consistently raved of my work performance to others. My Boss has made it clear to several departments that during the shift, I was the Acting Supervisor. When my Boss got a Promotion, I approached him about the possibility of applying for the Supervisor position. He stated not to worry, I did not have to apply. At a later date he said that he and the director have talked and and promised me the position. Few weeks later noticed position posted, I again asked he said we’d need to talk with the director. Next thing I know the one person that they comp ln aimed about job performance was the person they gave the position . They did not give me an acceptable answer. One thing they kept saying that because an employee started a rumour in retaliation against me. Mereley a rumor that . All I keep getting from the director when he k the ew I was questioning the decision was “how can we make this go away?” I asked what, was was not clear. Then he said there was apparently a lawsuit against the vo by an employee on my shift that I know nothing about. And keep coming back with making a rumor go away. Meeting was more of an intimidation and threatening meeting.Yet when the person spreading the rumor wen into other Co departments to talk make the rumor, I brought it to me y boss. We spoke with several people and they stated t by at on fact ja was going around talking a rum ou r. My Boss’ action was, told me that he could not do anythin as it was hearsay. All I want is fairness O was promised a position and was not even given the opportunity. What can I do. I filed a grievance and have not received a response. I wrote it, before my meeting but turned it in the day after. So the events of the meeting are not included.

    • Eugene Lee on August 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      It was a little hard to make out what you wrote, but from what I understand, you were promised a promotion, but then a co-worker made false accusations against you and the promotion was given to a less co-worker. If you think you have been the victim of defamation (slander/libel), then you need to gather proof of what exact false statements the co-worker made about you. You need to get emails/texts containing the false statements by the co-worker, or witnesses who heard the false statements who are willing to give you signed witness statements. You might have a claim against the company itself if you can prove they knew or should have known the statements by the co-worker were false and still “ratified” or approved them anyway. So as you can see, you probably have some footwork to do before you can bring a possible defamation claim.

  13. Jeanette on August 1, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I was just let go from my job of 12 1/2 years. Vac. Pay is 1 week after year. 2 weeks after 3rd year and 3 weeks after 5 years. Sick time and vacation time renews on 1st day of the month you were hired. I had to ask for my check and when I got it I was only paid for 5 days. Not the 10 days that was still owed to me. Manager said I only worked 1/2 the year 7 months so I was only owed 7 days.

    • Eugene Lee on August 2, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Jeanette, thank you for your post. California does not require employers to provide paid vacation, but IF an employer offers it, then they must follow the law. That means any accrued but unused vacation balance MUST be paid out to the employee at the same time their final paycheck is due. In your case, it looks like you are still owed for 5 more days of vacation time. Because you haven’t been paid that, you would qualify not only for payment of the 5 days of vacation, but also additional penalties. Give us a call at 213-992-3299 and we’d be happy to discuss it with you.

  14. Charmaine Groat on July 30, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t know where to start but with my employer not paying me my last check I am going to be homeless as of August 1, 2o18 I have used my savings to pay for my surgery from a injury caused at work, and the last month 1/2 had to live on my savings. I have found another job but it starts August 15, 2018. I don’t know what to do I have sent letters and phoned her several times only to have the new worker state she is busy and she will give her the message. This has been since June 21,2018 and still no call no check nothing. Please advise.

    • Eugene Lee on August 2, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Charmaine, you need to call us right away at 213-992-3299. You need to do three things:

      1. File a labor board complaint right away. We can walk you through it.
      2. Hire a workers compensation attorney. You shouldn’t be paying out of pocket for a work-related injury. We can refer you to several work comp attorneys.
      3. If absolutely necessary, you could qualify for a lawsuit loan to tide you over until 8/15/18. We don’t recommend them because of their ridiculous interest rates, but sometimes people have no choice.

  15. Brenda Jameson on July 27, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I drive a school bus and hold a field trip position with my company. There are 10 field trip drivers in our facility. We do trips for our school district, other districts and charter work such as churches, private schools, city and other organizations that need transportation. Recently myself and several other drivers from my facility did charter work as shuttle buses. We would pick up passengers at designated areas then transport them to the venue that had no parking for them. When the passengers were done with their part of the activities, we would shuttle them back to the area they were parked so it was an ongoing day. We were shuttling all day with no place to take a lunch break and we noted that on our paperwork which is our time card. Management decided we had to clock off and take a half hour lunch break so they deducted that time from our pay for that day even though we never stopped except for 2 10 minute breaks we are entitled to. It explains in your California meal breaks:Labor code section 512, that I can voluntarily skip my lunch break, without clocking off, as long as I was working at that time. Management is harassing those of us that are field trip drivers about taking lunches off the clock. It is sometimes impossible to do this because of where we are parked or other circumstances. Example, we take passengers to disneyland and wait in the parking lot for them to return. According to the federal law this is called waiting time and we get paid through our lunch. Our facility harasses us and threatens us if we don’t sign off the clock for a half hour. Please help us in this fight. We all need some guidance. Thank you

    • Eugene Lee on August 2, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      During a meal break, the employee must be allowed to leave the bus or the site and spend their 30 minutes off the clock however they want. It sounds like that isn’t happening in your case. To make matters worse, the employer is demanding you clock out as if you were getting a proper meal break, even though the reality is you aren’t. That puts a triggers a lot of penalties against the employer in your favor. I’d recommend you file a labor board complaint right away. Remember, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a labor board complaint. If the employer does that, you would be entitled to open a separate claim for retaliation, which also carries steep penalties. Feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 to discuss the above.

  16. BB on July 25, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    My ex employer never gave breaks or lunches. There would be days that I wouldn’t eat because there wasn’t time to stop. I worked for a Driving School and we would have to do back to back lessons without breaks. My ex boss told me he would fit breaks into my schedule and never did. My last straw was when he made me use a vehicle that would stall randomly and it freaked out my students. I told him that the car stalled and he told the student and myself that it never happened to him, so we must be lying. I told him that’s ridiculous this definitely happened. That was when he said, “you can put your two weeks notice in” and then I quit.

    • Eugene Lee on July 25, 2018 at 11:54 pm

      Sounds like your meal and rest breaks were denied, which is against the law. Did you ever complain about not getting your breaks? Remember, it’s not the responsibility of the employer to tell you to go on break. Employees are responsible for breaking themselves. However, if you ever tried to take a break and was interrupted or told to stop the break and get back to work, that would be an illegal denial of break. You should probably consider filing a labor board claim.

  17. Cinda on July 25, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I work in a transportation department as a driver the shifts are split; the department has started to recently enforce us to clock-in and out for breaks even if we are in route or on the way to parking our vehicles in the garage. They usually have a sheet for the employees to sign but at the end of the day they just ignore your times and adjust the times themselves without explanation and when you notice the changes they just say that they needs to adjust base on your route and with that they take away time from your route and still aspect you to do the same things. If that doesn’t work than they be calling you to see management on a daily bases to explain your every minute, stressing you out and putting pressure on the drives, they already know what we do every minute until we get to the garage (all the vehicles have Gps and Cameras). If they are not satisfied with the explanation they modify your route to where you literally just driving for 4 hours instead of the 6 hour minimum they state in they’re policy. I think there is something more going on but I’m unsure its illegal.

    • Eugene Lee on July 25, 2018 at 11:51 pm

      What you’ve described all sounds highly illegal. Timesheet fraud. Denied breaks. Retaliation. And so on. You should consider filing a labor board claim.

  18. Chris J on July 24, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Is there a number we can call to ask questions if we ae concerned about confidentiality?

    • Eugene Lee on July 25, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      If you want confidentiality, you can give us a call at (213) 992-3299. All of our calls are confidential.

      If you want don’t want to even give your name and want to remain anonymous but still want to file a wage complaint against your employer, then you need to get in touch with the Bureau of Field Enforcement – call (844) 522-6734 and say you want to file a BOFE complaint.

  19. Denise on July 20, 2018 at 6:57 am

    My husband was has been in his trade union for almost 18 years. Recently he found out the union dropped him in 2013 when he went to work for a few months in North Dakota. He had his ND union books transferred back. He did not know it at the time but the union had dropped him and then reinstated him upon his transfer back. His years with the union are only showing 5, he was told he lost those previous 13 years. How should we proceed with this? Should there not at least be compensation for those 13 years if it is he cannot be reinstated with the 18 years he has actually worked with the union?

    • Eugene Lee on July 20, 2018 at 7:17 am

      Hi Denise,
      Unions have their own sets of rules and regulations. The first place to check would be the union collective bargaining agreement to see what it says about seniority. You should also go to the union itself and ask for guidance on this issue.

  20. Denise on July 16, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I was hurt at work I was on modified work for a week had a doctors release then they said were going to change my hours because of accident said there had to be supervisor now the hours I had were so I worked nights got off in time to take grandkids to school.now the hours would be unable to take kids to school ,in the letter HR gave me said hours would be the same and pay if there going to be open 23/7 there always be someone there so why change them?

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm

      Denise, if you think the employer is punishing (retaliating) you for getting hurt and going on modified work, then that would be a form of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. You might want to think about filing a discrimination complaint

  21. Connor on July 14, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Employer makes unauthorized commission deductions.

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Connor, you need to check that against your employer’s commission plan. Commissions are generally contractual in nature, so the plan (i.e., contract) governs. If you believe the deductions violate the commission plan, you should go ahead and file a labor board complaint

  22. Mary-Margaret Miller-McClurg on July 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Please let me know what I am to do next

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Mary, I don’t see a question here. Can you elaborate?

  23. Daniel Bandoni on July 8, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    What is the process for filing for missed meal breaks over the last few years.

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Daniel, that’s a pretty open-ended question. Maybe you can narrow that down a little? Or it might be easier if you just give us a call at (213) 992-3299. In general, if your employer denied or interrupted your meal breaks, or cut them short, you should go ahead and file labor board complaint.

  24. Cammi ray on July 6, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Hello I am six months pregnant I currently wear out on disability due to stress and anxiety because of my job. I work three days out of the payperiod And so I asked my boss if she can put my vacation time on that check for me which is 27 hours she said I do not have any hours available so I went on the company payroll site that Shows our hours of vacation and sick and I sent her a screenshot and she still says I do not have any hours when it clearly says I have 27 occurred. What should I do

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Vacation pay is not legally required in the State of California. However, if an employer chooses to offer it, then it must honor its own vacation policy. If you feel the employer is refusing to follow its own vacation policy in denying you, and you think it’s discriminatory because of your pregnancy, you should consider filing a discrimination complaint.

  25. thelma on July 5, 2018 at 7:21 am

    We recently had a meeting where our manager and owner said we have to start clocking out for each break we take including the 2 ,10 minute breaks we are owed for working every 5 hours. Is this legal? They also said we have to clock out each time we have to go to the bathroom…. is this right?

    thank you

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Employers do have the right to make you clock in and out for rest breaks. That could just be for recordkeeping purposes. BUT, and this is a big but, they must STILL pay you for your rest break. Only meal breaks can be unpaid. If you aren’t getting paid for your rest breaks while punched out, then that’s a violation and you are entitled to 1 hour of pay for each day such a violation occurred. You should consider filing a labor board complaint.

      As for forcing you to clock out for bathroom breaks, then much like with rest breaks, that would be illegal if they aren’t paying you while you are on your bathroom break. By the way, the labor board has been very clear that bathroom breaks DO NOT constitute rest breaks. Again, if they aren’t paying you while you’re on a bathroom break, then that is an off-the-clock violation and you should consider filing a labor board complaint.

  26. Pamela Bombardier on July 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I had some extenuating circumstances that caused me to be late in my response that was requested by a deputy labor commissioner. My wage claim was closed. Can I open a new claim?

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      That is probably going to be pretty hard. You would need to submit a written appeal explaining your circumstances to the Senior Deputy Commissioner in charge of the labor board office that you had filed with. It would be up to him or her whether to reopen your case. If your case isn’t reopened, you can still choose to file your claim with small claims court or with superior court. For superior court, I’d strongly recommend you retain an attorney.

  27. marti on July 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    My wife and I previously worked for the state of California as volunteer camp hosts and we were terminated for no apparent reason. Do we have any rights as volunteer workers?

  28. Jordan jones on June 18, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Please help us

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Jordan, can you be a little more specific? Or you can give us a call if you are concerned about confidentiality at (213) 992-3299. We’d be happy to assist you.

  29. Rilriia on June 12, 2018 at 9:58 am

    For those whose employers failed to pay them (at all, or proper paychecks, etc.), it would be nice to find the complaint form easier, please. I found the discrimination complaint form readily enough, but am having a hard time finding the one for wages.

    I was also wondering if an employer fails to tender a paycheck at all and the employee quits, does that change the status of the situation? I have been waiting five calendar days for my paycheck, but quit this past Sunday. Should that mean it becomes the same as my final paycheck because it was not paid at the time I quit?

    Thank you so much for your time and consideration! And definitely for all the things you guys do.

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Sorry about that. The link is contained in the article above, but here it is again: DLSE Form 1.

      If you quit without notice, then the employer has 72 hours to give you your last check. Even though you quit for late or nonpayment of prior wages, that doesn’t change the 72 hour period. If you quit on Sunday, they have to get your last check to you on or before Wednesday. If they don’t (or didn’t), then you are entitled to a penalty of 1 day’s wage for each calendar day they are late, up to a maximum penalty of 30 days.

  30. Natasha on May 30, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I was recently released from a job. Employment time one year. During the entire year, I worked 8 hours a day and did not receive a morning or afternoon break for ANY of the days I worked. With regard to lunch breaks, half of my total work days I spent sitting at my desk eating my lunch while working.There were days that I had no lunch at all and left 15-30 minutes early, only to later be disciplined that I didn’t finish my work day. I believe I have a claim and want to clarify. Should I file a claim for an hour compensation for each day I worked without rest breaks? And an hour for each day I did not have a lunch break or worked through it? Thank you for your response.

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      The answer isn’t that simple. Simply skipping a meal break does not entitle you to the 1 hour daily penalty if you chose to do it voluntarily. In that case, you simply “waived” your meal break. However, if the employer knew you were being forced to skip meal breaks because you were overburdened, or were denying, discouraging or interrupting your meal breaks, or you even complained to the employer that you couldn’t take your meal breaks and they didn’t do anything to remedy that, etc, then you would have a possible meal break denial claim. If you want to talk it over more, give us a call at (213) 992-3299. Meal and rest break litigation can be relatively complicated.

  31. Norma on May 30, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I no longer work with this employer. I have time slips showing I worked through lunch many times and long hours on said dates. Do I have a claim?

    • Eugene Lee on July 17, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      If you voluntarily chose to skip your meal breaks, then no. If your employer discouraged, denied, or interrupted your breaks, or you complained that you couldn’t take your breaks and your employer didn’t fix the problem, then you likely have a meal break claim. If you want to talk it over, give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  32. Sheldon K on May 27, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I am a law enforcement park ranger. I work part time and occasionally I work up to 16 hours in a day. There have been numerous weeks that I have worked more than 40 hours and numerous pay periods (2 weeks) that I worked more than 80 hours. Although my employer cites the US DoL WHD fact sheets 7 and 8 I believe I do not fall into that category because the manual states ALL employees who work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week SHALL BE PAID OVERTIME at a rate of time and a half. I have inquired numerous times but have never been shown, in writing anything other that I am employed under the 172 hour rule.

  33. Jim H on May 21, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    My previous employer subtracted taxes from my expense reimbursement. In doing so, I am short payment. I have since been terminated. Does the 30-day waiting penalty apply in this case if there are missing wages?

    • Eugene Lee on May 23, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      That is a very interesting question. A 2017 California Court of Appeal held that expense reimbursement DOES constitute “wages”. Therefore it is logical to assume that if an employer is late on reimbursing expenses, that would trigger the 30-day waiting time penalty.

      An excerpt from that decision:

      “The term “wages” includes not only an employee’s periodic monetary earnings but also other benefits to which the employee is entitled as part of compensation. (In re Work Uniform Cases (2005) 133 Cal.App.4th 328, 337-338 [34 Cal.Rptr.3d 635] (Uniform Cases).) In Uniform Cases, the plaintiffs sought reimbursement under section 2802 for the cost of work uniforms. (Uniform Cases, at p. 332.) The Uniform Cases court concluded that “payment to employees for work uniforms is a part of the employees’ compensation and should be considered like any other payment of wages, compensation or benefits.” (Id. at p. 338.)”
      LILIANA ESPEJO v. THE COPLEY PRESS, INC. (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 329, 367

  34. Liza Munzner on May 16, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I reached out to HR and I have not received a response. I also didn’t get a packet of the cobra or benefits package.

    • Eugene Lee on May 17, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Liza, I don’t quite follow. What did you ask HR for?

  35. Nancy Macias on May 8, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    I signed a contract on 5/4/2018 that we would be paid for 5/7/2017 of the strike. Company HSH changed the contract without consent and copied and pasted my signature to their new contract that did not have original agreement nor the original pay. They lowered the pay without consent or knowledge.

    • Eugene Lee on May 15, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      That sounds like outright fraud. If you are owed pay, you should consider filing a labor board claim.

  36. Alex Ubillos on May 8, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Hope you are helpful

  37. Anthony Martinez on April 27, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I was short hours on my check and short wages on my previous payroll vheck

    • Eugene Lee on April 29, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      The proper course of action for you depends on whether you are still employed. If not, you are entitled to last check penalties and should file a labor board complaint.

  38. maureen r o'haley on April 25, 2018 at 11:19 am

    well to begin with i was fired over the phone , the reason was that i was eating on the closed side of the resturant which everyone does . When i started working there i was never told not eat over there , they fired the old manager and the owner took over . She also accused me of not paying for my food , i did inform her that i have proof ,my bank statements state that i paid for all of my food , and customer complains , l never saw a customer complain or there was no for worrying do i have a case . i really feel that they used this stuff because i have seizures and that was the real reason

  39. Mike Archambault on April 19, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    My pay periods are every 2 weeks. I work 80 hours plus overtime. The company pays me to change into a uniform and ppe equipment. M pay stubs show 77 hours and 3 hours on the uniform line. I thought it was against the law to manipulate my time card . Thanks for your time

    • Eugene Lee on April 20, 2018 at 4:02 am

      I’m not sure I understand, but if your employer is changing your time cards to take away your overtime, then that is definitely illegal. You should consider filing a labor board claim.

  40. Markian Senyk on April 18, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I worked as a contractor in Ukraine for a California registered company. The CEO/owner of the company has refused to pay me anything at all. What are my next steps to get paid?

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      If you worked in Ukraine, you could still file a labor board complaint with the California labor board IF you are a resident of the State of California. However, the ultimate answer is very fact-dependent as your question involves the intersection of a lot of different types of laws. You would probably be best off contacting a lawyer

      • Markian Senyk on April 20, 2018 at 8:41 am

        Thank you Eugene. I’m not a CA resident. So I’ll look for a lawyer.

  41. Angela hughes on March 30, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Not claiming he has employees , lieing saying he has no employees , not paying payroll taxes and not having employees claim their tips and pay taxes on them

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Sounds like you have multiple grounds to file a labor board complaint. You should also consider calling the IRS tax fraud hotline to report tax fraud due to the employer’s failure to pay payroll taxes and report taxes properly.

  42. Christopher Nilsen on March 22, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    I have no idea what my legal rights are to this unlawful termination

  43. Margot on March 18, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    I worked 12.25 hours for a dental office and was suppose to be paid and it’s been over 3 weeks and still have not been paid. They were notified 2 weeks ago and said they would send a check that day however , they have not!!

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      Without question, you should file a labor board complaint and get that going right away. The employer has to provide you your last check on the your last day worked if you were terminated or quit with notice, or 72 hours later if you quit without notice. There is a penalty that accrues up to 30 days of wages for each day the last check is late.

  44. HARRY JHUN EDQUID on March 16, 2018 at 2:53 am

    I was hired and work in the company last Jan.16,2017 Enersys Union City….with 3 Romanian Nationality from Manager,Supervisor and co-technician son of the manager.And then last Aug. 01 I called and sick bcoz my right metatarsal joint was swollen and painful.I went in the doctor to have a checked up and he send me to get X-ray and MRI of my foot.And then when the doctor got the result he recommend for a surgery.I informed my work admin I wasn’t able to go back to work bcoz I have a surgery on Aug.25 for implant fission of my metatarsal joint.That time I have 28hrs left on my vacation and I’m not qualified to take FMLA bcoz I need to work in the company in one year.And then they told me a Short Term Disability….I apply and they approved my STD from Aug.01,207 to Jan.29,2018.I informed HR about my returning to work and I was cleared by the doctor.The doctor gave them also a note that im going back to work on Jan.30 with restriction not to lift more than 10lbs in one month from the date of my first day in the job bcoz I have implant plate in my right metatarsal joint.After that HR answer my email and she said she talk my manager and supervisor and we won’t let you to go back to work for now bcoz I have restriction.On your job description as field service technician is you need to lift up to 50lbs on daily basis.After that HR send me a letter and I received it Feb.02,2018 HR said after the time frame of your unpaid vacation from Aug.01 to Jan.29 you supposed to go back to work Jan.30.Your doctor approved you restriction for one month and the company are not giving you a accommodation in your restriction or give you a additional leave.As a result the company ending your employment effective Feb.01,2018.

    May I know if it is legal to terminated me for my one month restriction given by my doctor? It’s that legal to talk on their own language and laugh at me.They called me DAMN ASS….YOU DONT KNOW SHIT…..in front of the customer? Then I’m using the company tools the son of the manager told me if break that tools “I WILL KILL YOU”.I report that in the supervisor but he didn’t make a report bcoz they are the same nationality.I suffered a lot of things to those people it’s really hard to forget they treat me like shit

  45. Aaron egger on March 5, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Left a long comment earlier

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Aaron, I don’t see your comment, sorry. Can you re-post?

  46. Aaron egger on March 5, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    I sent one earlier

  47. William on February 5, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Can I do anything about a employer and employees dispute with out any proper papers basically under the table situation my last week differs from his $100.00 and some tools of mine in this situation or is it a waste of time and resources over holiday/pay wages

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Yes, you can still file a labor board claim even if you worked “under the table”. Even if you are an illegal immigrant, you still have legal standing to file a labor board complaint and have the protections of the labor code. The labor board has expressly stated that they intend to protect illegal immigrants and others from labor code violations. In my experience, filing a claim is not a waste of time/resources.

  48. Tejel Lawson on January 25, 2018 at 9:08 am

    I have earrings my employer refuses to pay. This is two pay periods in a row. Obviously I no longer work for them. The system is set up so that you can only communicate with and house staff by a male there is no phone contact of any kind with any personnel from the organization. They lie and stone wall the employees NEVER talking responsibility or action to fix the problem.

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Two words of advice:
      1. make sure to communicate with the employer in writing (text, email, fax, letter). That way you have a paper trail of evidence to prove you are owed money.
      2. file a labor board complaint right away. The complaint process can sometimes take a while, so the sooner you get it going, the better.

  49. Kara J on January 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    My previous employer had recently set up an office in California with the headquarters in Virginia. They were clearly unaware of California laws. I resigned from my position with 2 weeks notice. I was told that the company would not pay out for accrued PTO days, however, they eventually agreed to pay it once I disputed and made it clear to them what the California laws are. However, that wasn’t the only law they weren’t aware of. I did not receive my final pay check until the following payroll (2 weeks later). The direct deposit I received was also missing 8 hours that were due. When I brought up this issue with HR, she agreed to pay out the remainder of my final wages 2 more additional weeks later at the next payroll. Because they probably aren’t aware of the final paycheck laws in California, I reached out to HR to explain the waiting time penalties due. Unfortunately, I am not getting a response. Can I file a wage claim for this? Am I entitled to 28 days of waiting time fees?

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Yes and, assuming you’ve calculated correctly, yes. You might consider talking to an attorney, as attorneys can usually spot more violations that laypeople aren’t aware of, e.g., missing information on paystubs, etc.

  50. Kara J on January 24, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    My previous employer had recently set up an office in California with the headquarters in Virginia. They were clearly unaware of California laws. I resigned from my position with 2 weeks notice. I was told that the company would not pay out for accrued PTO days, however, they eventually agreed to pay it once I disputed and made it clear to them what the California laws are. However, that wasn’t the only law they weren’t aware of. I did not receive my final pay check until the following payroll (2 weeks later). The direct deposit I received was also missing 8 hours that were due. When I brought up this issue with HR, she agreed to pay out the remainder of my final wages 2 more additional weeks later at the next payroll. Because they probably aren’t aware of the final paycheck laws in California, I reached out to HR to explain the waiting time penalties due. Unfortunately, I am not getting a response. Can I file a wage claim for this? Am I entitled to 28 days of waiting time fees?

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