California Employment Law
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California law gives you the right to force him to pay you and can impose penalties and/or interest if he fails to do so in a timely manner.
In order to encourage employers to comply with California final pay law for all unpaid wages due upon termination, discharge, or voluntary resignation, California labor laws enforce financial penalties to employers called Waiting Time Penalties. California Labor Code 203 provides “(i) if an employer willfully fails to pay, without abatement or reduction, in accordance with sections 201, 201.5, 202 and 205.5, any wages of an employee who is discharged or who quits, the wages of the employee shall continue as a penalty from the due date thereof at the same rate until paid or until an action therefore is commenced.”
If you leave your employment involuntarily such as in the case of a termination or lay off, then your employer must pay you all unpaid wages immediately. This includes any compensation due for vacation time and other “time off” benefits like personal time off (PTO). If you resign voluntarily, then California labor law requires that your employer pay you all final wages within 72 hours.
But if i never filled out any paperwork, how can I prove that I worked there? He could just say that I never worked there.
Other employees saw you working there. They could provide that evidence, if necessary.
The odds are that if sued, he would not deny that in a deposition or in court.
I think they all might be illegals. If that is the case, then they won't want to help me.
Plus they might be worried that they would lose their jobs if they helped me
Your testimony would be evidence. Like I said, it would be unlikely that he would deny it in a sworn deposition. If he did so, he could face severe penalties.
So pretty much I would have to take him to court over a few hundred dollars?
He also may be willing to settle quickly once he finds out that if he loses a lawsuit, he would be liable for penalties and interest many times what he currently owes you.
If he is unwilling to reach some kind of settlement, that is the only way to enforce your legal rights.
so what should I say to him the next time I talk to him?
You could also report him to the California Department of Industrial Relations:
You should tell him to pay you what he owes you (you are in a better position to determine that than me), or you will report him to the California Dept. of Indust. Relations and follow that with a lawsuit where you will ask for penalties, interest, and attorney's fees.
My guess is that he will pay you the few hundred dollars rather than face a lawsuit and regulatory investigation.
Earlier when I told him that if he didn't give me the money he owed me that I would report him to the labor board and he said "call them then". Doesn't sound like the type to just hand over a few hundred dollars.
Also, could I call the local Newspaper with this, or would I get in trouble for that? Could he sue me for that?
He's calling your bluff. Write him a letter citing the laws I referred to earlier. If he still says he won't pay, you will have to sue him. An attorney would be willing to take your case because the court could make him pay your attorney's fees.
You could not get in trouble, so long as everything you tell them is true.
How can I prove that though. Like I said earlier the only witnesses are people that are most likely illegal.
Your testimony. If it really went all the way through a lawsuit, he would be asked about your employment under oath and in the discovery process. Like I said, it is unlikely he would deny it under those circumstances. If he did, you will have to find other witnesses. If you have any friends or family that were aware you were working there, they could be called to testify.
Okay, one more thing? I am just getting charged the 28 dollars for this right? No more than that?
That is correct. Once you ACCEPT the answer, you will be charged $28.
Can I do anything else for you?
Thank you for your help.
Glad to help. Goo luck.