One of the most common ways that employees seek justice regarding their employers’ unfair practices is through the California Labor Board. Before you contact the California Labor Board, it is necessary to understand what assistance they may or may not be able provide regarding your specific situation.
Here are some of the important things to consider prior to contacting the California Labor Board:
Only a three year statute of limitations: The California Labor Board will only seek to enforce overtime wages for 3 years back from the filing of your claim. A California employment attorney on the other hand, will generally pursue your unpaid wages going back four years from the filing of your claim under the California Business & Professions Code Section 17200. This will generally allow the employee to recover one additional year’s worth of unpaid overtime.
Civil Penalties: The California labor board generally does not pursue civil penalties. However, a private attorney may pursue a claim under the California Private Attorney General’s Act, which allows aggrieved employees to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, as well as other similarly situated employees with the company. The California Labor Board will not pursue such penalties whereas a California employment attorney generally will.
Personal Service: Like many government entities throughout the state of California, the California Labor Board has experienced severe budget cuts. In light of the current economy, this means that there are now fewer labor board employees working on many more cases at a time. The impact of these budget cuts is that claimants may realize that their claims are being processed much slower, and they may even have difficulty speaking to a labor board employee regarding their claim. When hiring an attorney to pursue a claim for unpaid wages, the client can be sure that their attorney is pursuing the case aggressively and will be provide status updates any time requested.