At Kingsley & Kingsley Lawyers, our experienced unpaid wage attorneys in Pasadena are focused on assisting employees who have not received the compensation to which they are entitled. Most employees in California rely on their job to support themselves and their families. Many Californians live paycheck to paycheck. Not receiving the correct wages can prove financially devastating for many. Above all, it is unjust for employers to illegally withhold pay or shortchange workers simply to further their financial interests and increase their profits.
The city of Pasadena, which was founded in 1886, is not just one of the oldest in Southern California. It is home to iconic events such as the Rose Parade and Tournament of the Roses on New Year's Day as well as large employers such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
If you believe that your employer owes you unpaid wages in Pasadena, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options. To get help, simply fill out the form on this page to schedule a free consultation with an experienced unpaid wage attorney in CA.
Do You Have an Unpaid Wage Claim in Pasadena?
Under California law, non-exempt or hourly employees are entitled to not just their hourly pay, but also overtime and other benefits such as sick pay and paid time off. Non-exempt employees also have the right to be paid the correct minimum wage, which in California is $15.50 in 2023.
Some cities and counties also have higher minimum wages. In Pasadena, the minimum wage is $16.93 per hour - higher than the statewide minimum wage. So, if you work in Pasadena, you should receive the city minimum wage, which is higher.
In addition, you should receive 1.5 times your hourly pay rate if you work overtime, which is more than eight hours in a workday or over 40 hours in a workweek. Unpaid wages are defined as any money owed to an employee. An employee can file a wage and hour lawsuit or file a wage claim against their employer if they have not been paid the wages they rightfully earned.
What Are the Most Common Wage and Hour Violations?
There are a number of ways in which employers in California commit wage and hour violations. Here are some of the most common ways in which wage theft occurs in California:
Misclassification: Salary misclassification is a major problem in California workplaces. This occurs when an employer misclassifies a worker as an independent contractor or as an exempt employee when that worker should have been considered as an employee or a nonexempt (hourly) worker.
This misclassification allows employers to get away from paying overtime or other benefits to workers. While it may be an honest mistake in some cases, our employment lawyers have observed that many employers use it as a way to dodge paying employees the wages they are rightfully owed.
Unpaid wages: Under California unpaid wage laws, employers are required to pay their workers the correct minimum wage, overtime pay and provide rest and meal breaks. Employers must also follow specific timelines when giving their employees their final paychecks. Generally, a worker who has been fired or laid off must be paid all their unpaid wages on the same day, even though there are a few exceptions to this rule.
Workers who quit and give at least 72 hours of notice before their last day of work must be paid their final wages on their last day. Employees who quit without giving notice must be paid their final wages within 72 hours of their last day of work. It is also important to note that your immigration status has no bearing on your right to earn minimum wage or overtime. Regardless of what your employer tells you, you are entitled to these rights even if you are undocumented.
Unpaid overtime: Under California state law, employers are required to pay overtime wages (1.5 times the worker's normal hourly rate of pay) when an employee works more than eight hours in one workday or over 40 hours in one workweek. When an employee works 12 or more hours per workday or over eight hours on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek they should be paid twice their normal hourly rate.
Paid sick leave violations: In California, employees are also entitled to earn or accrue sick leave if they work for the same employer for at least 30 calendar days in one year. Almost all employees, including part-time, full-time and temporary employees, are covered under this law. You can file a claim for unpaid wages if your employer does not give you paid sick leave as mandated by the law.
Failure to provide meal and rest breaks: Under California law, hourly employees are entitled to 30-minute meal breaks if they work over five hours in a day as well as a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. Employers who fail to provide these legally-required breaks may violate wage and hour laws in addition to affecting the health and well-being on their workers.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Claim for Unpaid Wages?
The statute of limitations for wage and hour lawsuits could depend on the nature of the claim you are making against your employer. In most cases - whether it relates to minimum wage, overtime pay, unpaid work-related reimbursements, meal and rest break violations or unpaid final wages - the time limit to file a wage and hour lawsuit is three years.
In some scenarios, this time limit may be extended to four years if your employer engaged in unfair business practices under California's Unfair Competition Law. It would be in your best interest to contact an experienced Pasadena unpaid wage attorney at the earliest so your rights are protected every step of the way.
How Do You File for Unpaid Wages?
The first step is to fill out what is known as an "Initial Report or Claim" and state the amount of unpaid wages you are seeking. It is also important to remember that you need documents such as pay stubs that can help substantiate your claim.
An experienced wage and hour attorney can help you determine the amount of your claim and assist you with compiling all the required documentation that will strengthen your claim. Once you fill and sign the form, it must be delivered to the local Labor Commissioner's office.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation
If you believe that you are the victim of wage theft in Pasadena, the experienced wage and hour lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley Lawyers can help you recover unpaid wages and other compensation to which you are entitled. California's labor laws are strong and favor workers regardless of their immigration status. If you have been a victim of wage theft in Pasadena, call our law offices to schedule your free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.