California Employment Law
Have California Employment Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer.
Hello and welcome. Did you have a specific legal question I can assist you with? How can I help you?
Thank you. You can always opt out of a class action. In fact, if the amount in unpaid wages you are seeking is not de minimus (i.e. more than a few hundred dollars) it is almost always better to take action on your own. To pursue a claim for unpaid overtime in CA, you have two options. The first is to file a "wage claim" with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. This is an administrative claim process paid for by your tax dollars which costs you nothing and generally does not require an attorney. The DLSE will investigate your claims, hold a mediation, and then if mediation is unsuccessful they will hold a hearing and issue an award against your employer based on the available evidence.
The other option would be to retain a lawyer and file a lawsuit in civil court. Costs and attorney fees are recoverable if you prevail in a lawsuit for unpaid overtime. Plus, since the DLSE is overworked and not on "your side" so much as looking to resolve complaints, a lawyer will ensure that your interests are fully represented. Usually, claims in which more than a $10,000 is being sought are worth hiring an attorney for. Between 5-10k it can go either way, and for claims less than 5k it really makes more sense to go the wage claim route. Only if the claim was EXTREMELY small would it actually be best to pursue it through a class action.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.