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What happens after I file a vacation wage claim?

After your vacation 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 vacation 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 vacation wage claim in California because her employer refused to pay her for her earned and used vacation wages when she quit. Jane receives a notification in the mail that due to her vacation 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 all of her accumulated vacation wages that Jane didn’t use before she quit her job. 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 vacation law or want to file a vacation wage claim, contact Strauss Law Group now.


  1. Confidential

    What happens if my employer files for bankruptcy after I file a vacation wage claim?

    1. Creditors can make a claim on a bankruptcy estate, generally speaking. An employee who is owed vacation wages would be deemed a creditor of the estate. The trustee of the bankruptcy estate should provide notice to all creditors how and when to make a claim. This process can be very confusing. You may also have other claims against the company. We suggested you and any other person who ever contacts this firm that they should always get legal advice before proceeding with a claim against an employer, whether in bankruptcy or not. So feel free to give us a call.

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