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legalg, Other
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15523
Experience:  General Practitioner. Research Attorney
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My employer owes me 6.5 years back pay for "special

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My employer owes me 6.5 years back pay for "special incentive compensation" because I hold state license registration that qualifies me for this union contract extra pay provision, however employer is saying even if forced to pay by Calif. state law they only have to go back two years due to a statute that says a past debt is limited to two years. Is this true? How can unpaid debts be considered the same as unpaid salary or compensation?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I filed a complaint (actually a grievance) against my employer with the help of a union rep, but she says this two year cop out is typical and the employer uses it frequently to short pay people.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My employer is a county agency if that makes any difference.

Hi! A few minutes please as I review your question so I can provide you with legal information-thanks!

Wage claims have a statute of limitations of 3 years; however if the claim is based on contract law (versus statutory law - so for example the employment contract provides for the compensation) then the statute is 4 years.

relevant statute here:

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. The terms addressing this can be viewed here:

Thank you and take care.

legalg and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have to believe this is Contract Law since the Union-County Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by both parties and thus constitutes a written contract/agreement to perform actions in specified ways. The employers promise to apply "incentive pay" was not applied and I just learned this pay was available to me, yet County is claiming a two-year statute of limitations even if they are required to make up any back payments and not the 6.5 years owed. That is just wrong!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am still employed there and this pay dispute has caused significant tension between superiors, HR Dept., top management, union and myself.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did not quit, was not discharged, nor have I been absent to avoid payment due, so am not sure this statute you quoted is applicable.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
At least you responded. The half-dozen attorneys I tried to contact previously either did not respond, or said they do not take cases against County or government agencies.

According to the general contract statute of limitations (CCP 337) it is 4 years; please see:

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you!

Most welcome!
Thank you; take care.