What happens after I file an overtime wage claim in California?
Once you file an overtime wage claim with your local office of the Labor Commissioner (aka Labor Board), your claim will be given to a Deputy Labor Commissioner. The Deputy Labor Commissioner will decide whether to have a conference, a hearing, or, if the claim isn’t valid, he or she will dismiss the overtime wage claim. You will be notified by mail which decision the Deputy makes.
If the Deputy decides to hold a conference, both you and your employer will meet to discuss the claim and see if it can be resolved without a hearing or if there is even enough evidence to proceed.
For a hearing, you and your employer will testify under oath, just like a trial in civil court, except that there is no jury — only the presiding Deputy Labor Commissioner (not the one that will be handling your case) will make the decision as to whether you are owed overtime pay. Following the hearing, an Order, Decision, or Award (ODA) will be served to both parties by the Labor Commissioner’s.
Once the ODA is given, either party may appeal the ODA to a civil court. The court will set a trial. In the trial, your party and your employer’s party will present evidence and witnesses. In the case that you can’t afford an attorney, the DLSE may represent you.
Jane has been owed for overtime wages from her employer for some time. To claim her overtime wages, Jane files an overtime wage claim in CA with the Labor Commissioner’s office against her employer. Once Jane files her overtime wage claim, a representative from the Labor Commissioner’s office will decide if Jane’s case should have a conference, a hearing, or be dismissed. If the representative thinks it may be resolved by a meeting, a conference will be held. If the Deputy thinks it should go straight to a hearing, a hearing will be held and both Jane and her employer will testify under oath. If Jane’s overtime wage claim isn’t valid, it will be dismissed.