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After I file a wage claim, what happens?

After your wage claim in California is filed, a Deputy Labor Commissioner will decide how to proceed based on the information given in the wage claim. The first thing could be a referral to a conference or hearing, or a dismissal of the wage claim.

If the decision is to have a conference, then both you and your employer will be contacted by mail of the date and time of the conference. The conference is held to see if the wage claim can be resolved between both parties. If you and your employer do not come to an agreement during the conference, either a hearing will be scheduled or the claim will be dismissed because of lack of evidence.
At the hearing, both you and your employer will testify under oath. After, the hearing, either an Order, Decision, or Award of the Labor Commissioner will be served to you and your employer.

You or your employer may appeal the ruling and a court will set the matter to go to trial. At that point, evidence and witnesses will be gathered and presented in the trial. If your employer appeals the decision made at the hearing and takes the matter to trial, and you do not have enough money to afford an attorney, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will represent you. The matter will then be decided based on the trial.


Jane files a rest period wage claim in California because her employer refused to let her have her 10-minute rest periods. Jane receives a notification in the mail that due to her rest period wage claim in California, a conference will be held between her and her employer. At the conference, Jane and her employer don’t come to an agreement. A hearing is set for Jane and her employer to testify under oath. After the hearing, Jane and her employer will be served with an Order, Decision, or Award based on the hearing. Based on the decision given by the court, Jane’s employer must pay Jane an hour’s worth of pay for every rest period she was denied. If Jane’s employer doesn’t think he or she should pay Jane, then her employer could file an appeal and the matter will go to court. If the matter goes to court because of her employer’s appeal and Jane can’t afford an attorney, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will represent Jane.

If you have a question about California wage law or want to file a wage claim, contact us now.


  1. Confidential

    I filed a wage claim 3wks ago. I have not received anything in the mail nor have I been contacted.
    How long does it take to receive any info in regards to my claim?

    Thank you for your time

    1. One of the biggest complaints people have about the Labor Commissioner process is that it takes so long. And it’s also not very transparent. That means people file claims and have no idea what is going on for many months afterwards. I also have no idea what’s going on in your particular case, as our law firm has nothing to do with the inner workings of the Labor Commissioner. We simply file claims on behalf of our clients. But remember that you can always dismiss your claim at the Labor Commissioner and proceed in court on the same claims. Such a course of action should only be taken with proper legal advice and/or representation. Please give us a call so we can evaluate your case. Perhaps our firm would be interested in representing you in this action.

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