Labor - Wage Claims - Frequently Asked Questions
Wage Claim Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any question to open up a window with the answer. To close a window, click on its question again. You may have multiple windows open at once.
How long does an investigation through the Labor Department take?
The investigation takes an average of 90 days.
Why does it take so long to investigate a wage claim?
The Department makes every effort to investigate wage claims thoroughly and completely in accordance with the applicable state statutes and rules.
What happens if the employer does not respond to the claim?
If the employer does not respond in writing within ten days of the first notice, a second and final notice will be sent to the employer. If the employer again fails to respond, the Department will make a determination based on the evidence in the file.
What happens if the employer does respond to the claim?
If the employer disputes the claim in writing, a copy of the response and a questionnaire is sent to the claimant and the claimant will have ten days to respond in writing.
Does the Labor Department hold meetings with both parties?
In some cases, a meeting with both parties is needed in order for the Department to complete its investigation. The purpose of a meeting with both parties is to complete the investigation and in some cases to mediate the dispute.
What are the possible results of wage claim investigations by the Department?
The Department may issue a determination in favor of one party or another, depending on the evidence in the case. In some cases, if the evidence is not conclusive or if the Department lacks the jurisdiction in a particular matter, a determination cannot be made.
What happens if either party disagrees with the Department’s determination?
The Department’s determination is only appealable to Superior Court.
What happens if the employer does not pay the Department’s determination?
If the Department’s determination against an employer is not paid, a judgment in treble the amount is obtained from the superior court. The claimant may record the judgment with the County Recorder’s Office, and if a claimant wishes, the claimant can obtain the services of an attorney for collection of the judgment.
What happens if my former employer files bankruptcy?
If the employer files bankruptcy at any time during the Department’s investigation, the Department must dismiss the case and the claimant will have to file a claim directly in the bankruptcy court.