Unpaid Wages

Were you ripped off by the company on your paycheck?  Victim of wage theft?  Not paid?  Bought supplies for the company, but not reimbursed? If so, you aren’t alone, but you do need help.

I handle wage and hour claims and win them in courtrooms and negotiation tables all over Los Angeles and Ventura counties.  Let me do the legal work so that you can get back to the work of supporting yourself and your family. There are two  two types of wage and hour disputes for individuals and groups that I handle:

  • Wage and hour class action lawsuits for groups of employees (and individuals) wrongly denied legal minimum wage, overtime, rest and lunch breaks, and reimbursement for job-related expenditures
  • Confidential legal advice as well as filing lawsuits for individual employees who have been misclassified or wrongly treated as independent contractors so their employer doesn’t have to pay them overtime and/or other benefits

I take great pride in standing up to employers and making them pay what they owe to their employees.  I fight for the rights of workers at all levels, from manual laborers to senior executives, to get paid for their work and get what they are legally owed.

Wage Violations

Here are a few ways in which you may be illegally underpaid for your work:

  • You could be owed a lot of money by your employer
  • Unpaid straight-time wages: You are asked to “work off the clock.”  For example, your boss tells you that you didn’t get all your work done during regular business hours. He wants you to clock out and finish up on your own time.  This can also qualify for overtime.
  • Unpaid overtime wages: Your employer has a policy against paying overtime or you are wrongly classified as exempt from overtime. For example, you are a secretary and get paid a salary. Your boss says that since you earn a salary, they don’t have to pay you for any overtime.  This includes not paying you to come in on Saturdays to finish your work, or if you take work home with the knowledge and permission of your employer or supervisor.
  • Unpaid minimum wage: Your employer sets up your pay in a way that, when you divide your pay by your number of hours, it works out to be less than minimum wage.
  • Employers who fail to pay required overtime are liable for any unpaid overtime compensation and, under certain circumstances, an equal amount as liquidated damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. Sometimes the damages include earned overtime up to four years back.  Employers may not make any deals to settle wage and hour claims for less than the full amount (even when a release is signed by the employee to defeat the rights of the worker). In other words, employees who are eligible for overtime pay may not waive their right to receive it.

Independent Contractor Misclassification
Are you concerned that your employer is taking advantage of you?  Some employers classify their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying certain taxes, providing benefits, paying overtime and reimbursing them for business expenses.  Independent contractors are not employees.  Some companies misclassify regular employees as independent contractors in an attempt to avoid providing those workers with fair compensation and employee benefits.  Employees typically receive benefits such as vacation pay, sick pay, and medical and dental insurance.   Employers usually do not provide these benefits to independent contractors.  Instead of these benefits, independent contractors are given more freedom to do their jobs as they please.

Employers must follow strict standards when identifying workers as independent contractors. Workers who are incorrectly classified as independent contractors, but are actually employees, may be entitled to the benefits and compensation that they would have received if they had been classified correctly.

Are you an independent contractor or an employee?  Here are some of the factors that will answer that question:

  • Do you set your own work hours?
  • Are you paid per hour or per each job or service?
  • Do you work at your employer’s company or in your own home?
  • Are you working on several projects for different employers?
  • How long have you been working for this employer?
  • Are you reimbursed for expenses incurred while doing the work for this employer?
  • Did your employer provide you with work supplies and a place to work?
  • Do you work with a supervisor or are you independent in your decisions?

Unpaid Wages Class-Action Cases

An unpaid wage class-action lawsuit allows one person or a small group of people to sue on behalf of all individuals who have experienced the same or similar misconduct at the same employer. Because there is strength in numbers, class-action lawsuits can be used by individual employees to enforce the law against corporations and government entities on behalf of numerous victims.

I have extensive class action experience in the California courts. I have represented class action plaintiffs in matters involving unpaid overtime, missed rest and lunch breaks, misclassification of employees/contractors, minimum wage violations and other illegal employment practices throughout Southern California.


If you feel that you have suffered a wage violation, please contact me today for a free confidential consultation at (805) 383-4131.  I will listen to your story in strictest confidence and let you know if I can help.

There are limited time periods (deadlines) for filing claims that apply to legal matters. If you do not file in a timely manner with the appropriate internal office, outside agency or civil court, you may lose the right to seek redress for the claim. You should seek the advice of counsel to ascertain all of the applicable time periods.

You should immediately consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about what you can do to protect your rights and when the deadlines (statutes of limitation) expire in your specific case.

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Employment Lawyer Lou Kreuzer

I've been practicing Employment and Labor Law since 1994. If you have been wrongfully treated at work or if you are an employer with some concerns, call me. I am here to help.

T (805) 383-4131
F (805) 383-4135
E lou@louiskreuzerlaw.com

Law Office of
Louis H. Kreuzer II
601 Daily Drive, Suite 221
Camarillo, CA 930101