What types of damages can I get in a wage claim against my employer?



What types of damages can I get in a wage claim against my employer?

Wage theft in California may include the failure to pay all due wages and overtime; not paying all hours worked; not providing meal and rest breaks; failure to pay commissions or improperly changing a bona fide commissions plan after performance conditions were met; and any other violation of state law or failure to provide all promised compensation. Purely discretionary annual bonuses that are not part of a commission are usually not covered however.

Employees who file wage claims can recover their unpaid wages, overtime, and commissions. In addition they can recover interest to date on the unpaid wages, and a variety of penalties. The most common penalties include a flat penalty for every time the employer provides an inaccurate wage statement, and an extra thirty days of pay if the employer hasn’t paid all due wages upon employment termination. In lawsuits that involve a systemic failure to provide meal or rest breaks, workers may recover one hour of additional pay for day the break wasn’t permitted, plus interest and penalties. Although there are no punitive damages or emotional distress damages available in a case that only involves unpaid wages, the employee might be able to obtain additional “liquidated damages” effectively doubling the amount unpaid wages if the employer cannot show it made an error in good faith.

Additional damages and penalties may be possible depending on the specific facts of your situation. A skilled employment lawyer can advise you how to maximize the amount of your recovery.

McCormack Law Firm is here to hold your employer accountable for unpaid wages. Contact us today to speak with an experienced San Francisco employment lawyer. We can help you understand your options for pursuing damages.

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