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What should you expect after filing a wage claim?

If your employer fails to pay you in full, you can file a wage claim to collect unpaid wages and benefits. In California, any worker, regardless of immigration status, may file this claim.

While the procedure can be complicated, consulting a legal professional may help you understand what’s coming. Here’s what you should expect once you report your employer for wage theft.

Settlement conference and wage claim hearing

After filing a claim, a deputy labor commissioner will facilitate a settlement conference between you and your employer. Failing to attend the meeting may result in the dismissal of your case if you cannot present a valid reason for your absence. Your wage claim will likely go to a hearing if your employer does not attend the conference.

During this meeting, you will decide whether to accept or reject a settlement offer. If you choose to settle, your employer will pay the amount agreed upon, and the matter will be resolved.

However, if the offer is too low, you may choose to negotiate for a higher amount or refuse to settle. If you reject the offer, the claim will go to a hearing.

Failing to appear at the hearing may result in the dismissal of your claim. On the other hand, if your employer does not show up, the hearing officer will base their decision on the evidence presented and your testimony.

Getting the pay you earned in full

Wage theft is a labor law violation that includes paying workers less than the minimum wage, prohibiting them from taking rest breaks and failing to send a final pay on time.

As an employee, you have the right to receive the pay you earned on time and in full. If your employer committed these violations, you may file a claim to collect unpaid wages.