Month: January 2021

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Unpaid Wages?

If you have not received unpaid wages from your employer, it might take some time before you begin to notice. This is especially likely if you worked flexible hours at different rates and had variable paychecks. When you do discover the discrepancy, it is important to hire a lawyer for unpaid wages and begin to build your case.

Employers know there is a statute of limitations and will often try to drag negotiations out so that the time expires before you can be paid. The statute of limitations differs based on the circumstances, but the time ranges from one year to four years.

What Are California’s Statutes of Limitations?

In California, the state’s Department of Industrial Relations encourages workers to file claims in a timely manner. These are the time restrictions provided by the department for filing wage claims:

  • Within four years if you have a written contract
  • Within three years for violations related to overtime, minimum wage, meal breaks, unpaid rest, unpaid reimbursements and illegal deductions
  • Within two years if you received an oral promise to be paid more than the minimum wage
  • Within one year if you were charged penalties for a bounced check or if you did not receive access to your payroll records

Where Can Workers Get Information To Build a Case?

Before hiring an attorney for unpaid wages, it’s important to gather all the necessary information you can. If you are not sure what information you need, consider the following tips from the Department of Industrial Relations.

Track Your Paychecks

Most medium-to-large employers provide electronic access to your paystubs online. If you work for a smaller company, you might only receive a physical printout of your pay stub. Keep copies of this information. You might need them to show the money you received versus what you should have been paid. If you do not have access to this, check your bank account for checks cashed and direct deposit payments.

Add Up Hours Worked

Unless you are a salaried worker, how many hours you spent on the job will make a difference in your claim. Hours can determine not just whether you received the right total for each hour worked but also whether you qualify as a full-time worker or should receive any special benefits or bonuses.

Gather Employer Information

You need important information about the employer to file your claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. This includes the address and name of the company or individual. You should find this information on the paystub, product labels or mailing labels. If the names do not match or you are unable to find the information, write down your employer’s license plate number.

How Can Workers Choose the Right Lawyers for Their Cases?

When choosing an employment law attorney for unpaid wages, choose an experienced professional who is willing to go up against corporations. You also need professionals who are accustomed to cooperating with government agencies to complete your case.

At Hoffman & Forde Attorneys at Law, we are proud to provide cost-effective services to workers in Southern California. Schedule your consultation today.


What You Need to Know About Business Legal Advisory Services

Business legal advisory services are a lot like preventative medicine:  people have a tendency to put them low on their list of priorities, but when a problem does arise everyone wishes they had done more to prevent it. At the heart of what a business advice lawyer does is prepare for worst case scenarios, and hopefully keep them from ever happening. 

Consider a few examples of how a business attorney can play a crucial role at different stages of your company’s lifetime.

Business Formation 

Whether you are starting a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a nonprofit organization, the decisions you make at the formation and planning stage will have ramifications far into the future. It is critical to work closely with a business attorney throughout the process. 

The issues to be addressed here are numerous and diverse. Are your personal assets protected? How much control will investors have over the company? How can tax exposure be minimized?

Or take for example a partnership with two owners. The business starts out great, but over the years the situation changes. Personal relations become strained, the partners have differing visions for the company, or one of them simply wants out of the partnership. It’s important to have the assistance of a business advisory lawyer who can plan for these contingencies without pointing fingers. 

Contracts and Compliance

Your business is established and growing. Revenues are up, you have more employees, and maybe you’re thinking of expanding operations. You may not need in-house counsel, but you should definitely have your lawyer on speed dial by this point – someone who is already familiar with your business and can help keep things running smoothly.

As businesses grow, contracts tend to become more complicated. Rather than simply signing boilerplate agreements, now you may have more leverage to negotiate. Contract law is a jungle unto itself, however, and custom-tailored contracts require expertise to ensure you are covered in all situations. Contractual disputes can be similarly complex, and your business generally is best served by quickly handing them over to your attorney.

Compliance and liability issues also take on increased importance as the financial stakes go up. Anything from workplace accidents to digital security breaches can send a business reeling. An experienced attorney who is up to date on the latest changes in the law can help you establish best practices in order to prevent problems and keep your company protected when they arise. 


You’ve built the business from the ground up, but now you are ready to retire, or you want to establish what happens to the company if you die. Succession can be complicated and requires careful legal planning. A thorough valuation of the business is needed, as well as transfer instruments that will pass muster in court if necessary. Consulting with an attorney to create a clear succession plan helps ensure that your wishes are respected and the company can continue to thrive for years to come.

Consult a Business Attorney

Whatever stage your business is at, the attorneys at Hoffman & Forde are ready to provide comprehensive legal advisory services. Schedule a consultation today.