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Need clarification on California labor law - employer fail to pay wage California

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  • Need clarification on California labor law - employer fail to pay wage California

    I worked as an independent contractor. The person who hired me refuses to pay for no clear/valid reason. At this time, I'm trying to figure out how much penalty I can ask in small claims court. I just read sections of California labor code. Since I have little legal background, I'm not very clear which one applies to my situation. I would appreciate anybody who can help me out.

    California labor code 203
    "(a) If an employer willfully fails to pay, without abatement or reduction, in accordance with Sections 201, 201.3, 201.5, 202, and 205.5, any wages of an employee who is discharged or who quits, the wages of the employee shall continue as a penalty from the due date thereof at the same rate until paid or until an action therefor is commenced; but the wages shall not continue for more than 30 days."

    California labor code 206
    (a) In case of a dispute over wages, the employer shall pay, without condition and within the time set by this article, all wages, or parts thereof, conceded by him to be due, leaving to the employee all remedies he might otherwise be entitled to as to any balance claimed.
    (b) If, after an investigation and hearing, the Labor Commissioner has determined the validity of any employee's claim for wages, the claim is due and payable within 10 days after receipt of notice by the employer that such wages are due. Any employer having the ability to pay who willfully fails to pay such wages within 10 days shall, in addition to any other applicable penalty, pay treble the amount of any damages accruing to the employee as a direct and foreseeable consequence of such failure to pay.

  • #2
    The CA and federal department of labor regulations do not come into play as you were not an employee but an independent contractor; unless you were misclassified as an indpendent contractor. If you think you were misclassifed you can file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. However if classified correctly as an independent contractor you would have to address through small claims. Was there a written contract/agreement? If so was there language on payment and late fees?
    Last edited by Blessed123; 01-24-2012, 06:36 AM.

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    • #3
      The codes you posted apply to employer/employee. You note you are an IC. (not employee) If so, your only recourse is through small claims court if the amount qualifies - otherwise, a "general" (higher) court action.

      You might want to consider Blessed123's questions.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        where do I find law applicable to my case?

        Thank you both for answering.

        There was no written contract. I'm an independent contractor for sure.

        Via your reply, I see California Labor Code do not apply to independent contractor. What are the other source of law that I can read for my own case? Is there a law that describes willful failure of paying wage for independent contractor?

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        • #5
          Independent contractors do not fall under employment law at all. It would be contract law, and the wording of the contract will make a difference. If there is no written contract then you will have to sue in civil court and hope that you can convince the judge of what was contracted.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cbg View Post
            If there is no written contract then you will have to sue in civil court and hope that you can convince the judge of what was contracted.
            How about small claims court?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BostonFern View Post
              How about small claims court?
              Small claims courts handle civil cases - small claims court is what cbg meant. (if amount qualifies - if not, you can sue in a higher civil court)

              Ca. small claims court - Limit $7,500, except that a plaintiff may not file a claim over $2,500 more than twice a year and plaintiff must be an individual (limit for local public entity or for businesses is $5,000). $4,000 is the limit for suits involving a surety co. or a licensed contractor.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

              Comment

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