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Unpaid Wages Claim Time Limit

Unpaid Wages Claim Time Limit

The time limit for filing an unpaid wages claim, also known as a wage claim or a wage lawsuit, varies depending on the jurisdiction (country, state, or province) in which you live or work. Different places have different statutes of limitations that determine how long you have to file a claim for unpaid wages. These statutes of limitations are typically set by labor laws, state or federal wage laws, and other wage and hour rules, and can vary significantly. It’s important to note that these limitations can also depend on the type of wage and hour claim you may be filing.

The wage and hour sector of employment law can be tricky to understand, even for the most competent California worker. It’s always a wise idea to consult with a legal professional, such as an experienced lawyer who specializes in employment law, who can help you better understand wage violations, unpaid wage claims , unfair business practices, labor code violations, and other overtime violations.

In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes federal standards for minimum wage and overtime pay. Under the FLSA, the statute of limitations for filing a wage claim is generally two years from the date the wages were due. If the violation is considered willful (meaning the employer violated wage and hour laws knowingly), this can extend to three years. Some states have their own wage laws with different time limits, so it’s important to be aware of the laws specific to your state.


File a Wage Claim in California

In California, if you believe you are owed unpaid wages, you have the option to file a wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to file a wage claim in California:

Step 1: Gather Documentation: Collect all relevant documentation that can prove you have unpaid wages, including pay stubs, timecards, work schedules, and any other records that demonstrate the wages you are owed.

Step 2: Determine Which Claims Are Eligible: The DLSE handles various types of wage claims, including unpaid regular wages, overtime rate of pay, meal and rest breaks, minimum wage issues, and other related issues under the wage and hour division. Make sure your claim falls within their jurisdiction.

Step 3: Complete the DLSE Initial Report or Claim Form: You can complete the DLSE Initial Report or Claim Form, also known as the DLSE Form 1. This form is available on the DLSE website.

Step 4: Submit the Form: Submit the completed DLSE Form 1 to your local DLSE office. You can find the nearest office on the DLSE website. You can submit the form in person, via mail, or electronically.

Step 5: Await Response: After submitting your claim, the DLSE will review the unpaid wages information you provided and may contact both you and your employer for additional information. They will work to mediate and resolve the dispute.

Step 6: Attend Mediation or Hearing: If your unpaid wages claim cannot be resolved through communication with your employer, the DLSE may schedule a conference or hearing to mediate the dispute. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their case. The hearing will determine if the workers is eligible to recover unpaid wages.

Step 7: Receive Decision: After the mediation or hearing, the DLSE will issue a written decision regarding your unpaid wages claim. If they determine there was a wage violation and that you are owed unpaid wages, they will outline the amount to be paid and provide instructions for your employer to comply.

Step 8: Appeal (if necessary): If you or your employer disagrees with the DLSE decision, you have the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate court within a specified time frame.

Remember that the process and forms may change, so it’s important to visit the official California DLSE website for the most up-to-date information and forms. If you’re unsure about any step of the process, you might want to consult with an employment attorney to ensure you’re taking the correct actions to pursue your unpaid wages claim.


Working with an Unpaid Wages Attorney

If you decide to seek unpaid wages with the help of an attorney, Lawyers for Justice, PC is a fantastic resource. The firm has recovered over $1 million for California workers and specifically practices wage and hour law, in addition to other practice areas.

Best of all, Lawyers for Justice, PC is a contingency law firm, which means up-front attorney’s fees are waived. Clients only pay when an LFJ attorney wins their case. For those California workers who have experienced unpaid wage and hour issues, this is a wonderful option because they don’t pay any money up front.

Call Lawyers for Justice, PC today for a FREE consultation to see if we’re the right wage violations lawyers for you. (818) JUSTICE.