You may actually sue the employer in court and recover your wages/commissions. Additionally, if you sue in court, under federal laws (FLSA), you are also entitled to seek what is called Liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is equal to the amount of back wages that they owe you and must be paid in addition to the wages themselves---so you essentially get double the wages owed you in the claim based on their willful failure to pay you. Additionally, you will be entitled to be awarded costs of the court as well as your attorney fees incurred in filing suit and litigating it against your employer. http://labor-employment-law.lawyers.com/wage-and-hour-law/Liquidated-Damages-and-FLSA-Claims.html
A recent law signed by the CA Governor, allows CA employees to seek liquidated damages when making a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), just as they could if suing in court initially. So in CA whether you make a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or file an action in court on your own, you may seek liquidated damages. Here is a link to an article on the change---good for CA employees, but bad for CA employers: http://www.shawvalenza.com/publications.php?id=343
The award of liquidated damages is mandatory unless employer shows that (A) act or omission giving rise to violation was in good faith and (B) the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that act or omission was not a violation of 29 U.S.C.A. § 216(b). This is a very difficult standard for the employer to meet.
Here is an excellent article which deals with pursuing an FLSA claim---which you may do in either state court or federal court. Do take the time to review it:
Can one employee claim Interest on unpaid wages, Waiting time penalties and Liquidated damages all at one time? (main claim being unpaid wages in CA)?
What is your suggestions for all the penalties that i can claim for unpaid wages of multiple months (worth of $80K-$90K)?
So my understanding is correct?
I can claim 'waiting time penalties', Interest on unpaid wages, and liquidated damages in one single claim for unpaid wages.
Good morning Ria,That is correct. And don't forget if you hire an attorney to sue the employer, you can recover legal fees as well.You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction. Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed. I wish you the best in 2013,Doug
One quick follow-up question;
Liquidated damages calculated separately for over time or not(if i am entitled for over time) ?
If i claim 20K as overtime, can i claim 40K as liquidated claim?
You might wanna try my other question " H1B: In CA, can employers charge employee for the H1B processing " ?
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