The California Labor Board is a Division of the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Other common names used by the public are: California Board of Labor, California Labor Board law, California Labor Relations Board, or CA State Labor Board.
There are many misconceptions about what the Labor Board of California can and cannot do when it comes to filing a California Labor Board claim.
The California Labor Board typically deals with very small claims of less than $7500. Many employees who make a California state labor board claim are seeking damages in excess of $7500 and therefore, elect to hire a California labor law attorney or California overtime lawyer.
The California Labor Board will NOT do the following with regard to your overtime wages:
- No Pursuit of Individual Defendants: The California Labor Board will not pursue individual defendants in connection with an overtime pay claim filed with the CA labor board. The Labor Board of California will only pursue actual companies. This is a major drawback when the employer is a small to medium sized company and solvency or the ability to pay an award is a concern. In many instances, individuals who control the wages of employees and fail to pay them properly under the law can be brought to justice as individual defendants. The California State Labor Board will not pursue these individuals. Even if an award is given to an employee, if the company is not well funded, it is common for such companies to close and re-open under a different name, or to seek bankruptcy protection and open up as a new entity, thus effectively escaping payment of the awarded claim.
- The Employer Can Appeal and Obtain a New Trial: If an award is obtained by the Labor Board of California from a CA Labor Board wage claim made by an employee, the employer may appeal such award and make the employee start the process over again in Superior Court. If this occurs, the California labor board award is vacated and a new trial must be held in court. More importantly, if the employee loses this appeal, the employee may be required to pay the attorney fees of the employer. While the Labor Board of California provides employees with services related to the enforcement of their wages and can be effective in limited situations, it falls short in many regards.
- No Collection of Attorney Fees: The State of California Labor Board will not collect any attorney fees an employee incurs in the pursuit of their wages.
- Will Not Pursue All Overtime Wages That May Be Due: Another critical difference in California Labor Board overtime pay provisions is that the Labor Board of California will NOT pursue a fourth year of overtime pay under the California Unfair Competition Law and will only pursue up to three years of overtime pay under the California overtime statute. This is a highly relevant concern and the reason why many California employees elect to retain a private California labor law attorney or California overtime lawyer to obtain the maximum recovery under the law.
- Will Not Pursue Penalties: The California Labor Board will not pursue penalties under the California Private Attorney General's Act. Under this law, if penalties are awarded, 25% would go to the employee and 75% would go to the State of California. This is another reason why California employees often opt to retain their own private labor counsel to insure they maximize their recovery monies.
United Employees Law Group provides the legal services and experience many California employees seek when considering the services of California labor law or overtime attorneys, in lieu of filing a claim with the California Labor Board.