Tracy, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: What can I do to try to receive my accurate wages?

I got a raise at a city government agency. It was suppose to go into affect 8/1. This was not reflected on my pay stub. Payroll said it would be retro-ed back to me by the end of the year. I have since left the agency and payroll told me I would receive the corrected amount when I received my vacation payout. That did not happen and the vacation pay out was at my old salary rate. I contacted payroll and HR again to see when they will fix this issue and they have not responded after 2 weeks. What are my next steps?

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, employers are legally obligated to pay wages owed in a timely manner. If your previous employer has not paid the wages owed after a raise, consider these steps:

1. Document all communication and evidence regarding your raise and attempts to resolve the issue.

2. Contact the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and file a wage claim.

3. If the DLSE cannot assist, or if the matter isn't resolved, consider filing a lawsuit in small claims court or superior court.

4. Additionally, seek advice from fellow attorneys familiar with wage and hour laws.

5. Ensure that you act promptly, as there are specific time limitations for filing wage claims.

6. Remember that retaliatory actions by employers against employees for pursuing unpaid wages are prohibited under California law.

7. Consider reaching out to HR again via certified mail, providing a paper trail of your communication efforts.

8. Lastly, always stay informed of your rights and any changes in California employment law to ensure you're fully protected.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Being a government employee, your rights and the government's obligations will be defined by the FLSA - the federal statutory wage and hour laws, not the state Labor Code. Therefore, the DLSE cannot help you. You need to go to the Federal Department of Labor.

The answer you received that suggested you go to the DLSE is simply wrong.

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