If your California employer has failed to pay you for the work you’ve done, withheld tips or overtime earnings, or refused to provide you with rest breaks, you may be able to file a wage theft claim. To do so, you will need to provide certain documents to support your petition. They include the following:
Your employment agreement
This document outlines the terms of your employment, including your salary, hours and any other benefits you are entitled to. According to California’s wage and hour laws, your employer has a legal obligation to give you a copy of your job contract within 30 days of submitting a written request. Ensure that you have this document because it is vital to your case.
Timesheets or logs
If you are paid hourly, you will need to provide documentation of the hours you worked. This can be in the form of timesheets or logs that you kept yourself or records maintained by your employer. If your boss does not keep accurate records of your hours worked, it is still possible to file a claim, but you may need to provide other evidence to support your case.
Pay stubs or itemized wage statements
Pay stubs can help prove how much you are owed as they will show your hourly rate and the number of hours worked. Under California employment law, your employer must give you an accurate itemized wage statement every payday or semi-monthly. You should also know that being given an inaccurate pay stub is another violation by your employer.
If you have witnesses who can attest to the hours you worked or the work you performed, their statements can be quite valuable in supporting your claim. Other employees may choose not to get involved out of fear of reprisal, but it’s valuable to know that retaliation from an employer is not legal.
It can be daunting to go against your employer in a legal battle. However, if they are exploiting or abusing your rights, it might be the right thing to do.