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What can you recover with a wage claim?

It can be hard to earn enough to live on in California, especially if you are on minimum wage. The last thing you need is for those wages to go unpaid, or for you not to receive the full sum that you are owed. Wage and hour laws require your employer to pay you for the time you work, including overtime and commissions. If this does not happen, you have the right to challenge him or her and attempt to recover the amount you are owed.

There are several elements you can file a wage claim for, each of which will depend on your individual circumstances. These include the following:

  • An unpaid final paycheck.
  • Business expenses that have not been paid or reimbursed.
  • Any vacation hours that remained unused and unpaid at the time employment ended.
  • Damages for each hour worked without receiving minimum wage.
  • Penalties if your employer took more than 21 days to allow you to copy or inspect your payroll records.
  • Unauthorized deductions from your wage or paycheck.
  • And unpaid bonuses, overtime, commissions or wages in general.

The Department of Industrial Relations presents a more comprehensive list and explains how you can begin making your claim. However, to be sure you get the most out of your wage claim, you might benefit from the advice of an attorney. Although the prospect of challenging your employer can be daunting, it is worth the effort to receive the fair treatment and compensation you deserve.

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