Few things are as disappointing and frustrating as receiving less than you expect on a paycheck. The sting is even worse if you sacrificed important time with your family or friends to work overtime. If you are lucky, then your employer might give you the money you deserve without any trouble. However, some California employers are less grateful towards their employees than others. If you happen to be working for someone who has refused to pay money that you worked hard for, you might still have some options available.
According to FindLaw, there are federal agencies that might back up your attempt to recover back pay. Specifically, the United States Department of Labor has a specific section to deal with situations like yours: the Wage and Hour Division. The WHD might investigate on your behalf, and the Secretary of Labor might also intervene with litigation. Additionally, you might be able to bring civil suit.
There are many options for you to consider, but taking one route might block off another. Here are some important examples:
- You may not start a civil suit if you have been paid as a result of a WHD investigation
- You may not sue once the Secretary of Labor files suit
In short, retrieving the wages you are owed might involve a complex system of interrelated federal actions and civil cases.
It also bears mentioning that there is a statute of limitations on wage and hour actions. If you wait too long or become delayed by lengthy negotiations, your opportunity to take advantage of official channels might expire. Therefore, you could benefit from paying close attention to your paycheck details, keeping your stubs on file and acting quickly in the case of any discrepancies you encounter. This is not intended as legal advice, please only regard it as an introduction to the topic.