San Diego Wage Deduction Lawyer
California has strict labor laws that protect employees from many forms of wage and hour violations. Has your employer unlawfully deducted wages from your paycheck in San Diego, CA? You may have a wage claim against your employer to recover your unpaid wages, interest, and more.
Founded in 2018, Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers is committed to protecting the rights of all workers in California. Contact our law office at (619) 693-7727 for a free consultation with a San Diego wage deduction lawyer ready to help you recover the wages and penalties you are owed.
How Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers Can Help with an Illegal Wage Deduction Case in San Diego
California employers should be held accountable when they violate labor laws designed to protect workers. These violations often affect many employees and are sometimes intentional. An experienced San Diego employment lawyer can help you pursue unpaid wages, interest, penalties, and attorney’s fees.
Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers focuses entirely on employment law. Our law firm in San Diego, California, works on a contingency fee basis to protect the rights of workers in all sectors from illegal and unfair employment practices.
Here is how our law office is prepared to help you:
- Determine which labor laws your employer violated and which types of claims you may have
- Investigate whether other employees were affected by the same violation for a PAGA claim or class action
- Help you file a wage claim and represent you during the conference and hearing
- Negotiate on your behalf to reach a settlement with your employer
- Pursue a lawsuit against your employer to recover all the unpaid wages and penalties you are owed
- Protect you from illegal retaliation
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review with an experienced employment lawyer in San Diego.
When Can California Employers Withhold Wages?
California employers are required to pay employees all earned wages—deductions are only allowed in limited circumstances. Employers must follow California law and federal law when making deductions from an employee’s wages.
The California Labor Code allows deductions when:
- The deductions are permitted or required by federal or state law.
- The employee has authorized the deductions in writing for insurance premiums or certain medical or hospital dues.
- The deductions cover health, welfare, or pension contributions authorized through a wage agreement or collective bargaining.
- The deductions are other qualifying deductions that are not considered a deduction or rebate from minimum wage or the agreed upon wage. These “other deductions” must generally benefit the employee.
Wage deductions are allowed without the employee’s consent for tax withholdings, court orders/wage garnishments, and contributions to health care plans or pensions. Employers must comply with state and federal law when wage deductions are allowed.
What Are Illegal Wage Deductions in California?
In general, any deduction that does not meet the requirements for a lawful deduction is not allowed.
The following are common scenarios where a paycheck deduction is unlawful:
- Deductions for required uniforms or equipment. When items are required, the employer must supply them.
- Unreturned equipment, uniforms, and other items. If an employee fails to return items after termination, the employer cannot deduct the cost from the employee’s final pay. These deductions have been ruled unlawful by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
- Losses due to the employee’s mistakes. If an employee causes losses due to ordinary negligence, such as losing company equipment or accidentally breaking something at work, the cost cannot be deduced from the employee’s pay.
- Business losses. Employers cannot deduct the cost of unidentified returns from an employee’s commissions when the return is not directly attributed to the employee. Wage deductions for inventory shrinkage caused by theft are also prohibited.
- Advances, loans, or overpayments. Employers are considered ordinary creditors by California law. An employer can’t make an illegal deduction from an employee’s wages due to an overpayment from an earlier paycheck, for instance. Deductions may be allowed during employment if the employee consented and the deductions are made for the employee’s benefit.
- Gratuities. Employers can’t take, receive, or collect gratuities left for or given to an employee or make deductions accounting for gratuities. Restaurants are allowed to have tip sharing policies.
These are only some examples of deductions that may give rise to a San Diego wage & hour claim.
What Can I Do if My Employer Made Unlawful Wage Deductions from My Paycheck in San Diego, CA?
You have several options for recovering your unpaid wages. You may begin by trying to resolve the problem with your employer informally, although you are not required to do so.
You may also have the following options for pursuing legal action:
- A federal wage claim if the deduction violated federal law
- Wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
- A wage and hour lawsuit
- A class action lawsuit if multiple employees were affected by unlawful wage deductions
Wage claims with the Labor Commission’s Office are typically the best place to start before a lawsuit.
It’s still important to consult with a San Diego employer lawyer for legal advice about your claim. A DLSE wage claim is not always the best option. A lawsuit may be more appropriate depending on the amount of unpaid wages and whether you have additional claims for unpaid overtime pay or meal and rest breaks.
In a wage and hour claim, you can recover the unpaid wages from the deduction as well as waiting time penalties. This penalty is equal to your daily pay rate for every day the wages were unpaid for up to 30 days. You may also be entitled to interest and other penalties, such as a flat violation penalty.
Contact a San Diego Wage Deduction Lawyer
Has your employer unlawfully deducted wages from your pay? Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers is here to help you recover the unpaid wages and penalties you deserve.
Contact our law firm for a free case review with a San Diego wage deduction lawyer who can help you take the next steps.