The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) decides claims filed by employees who for nonpayment of wages, overtime, or vacation pay and related penalties. Generally, the first time an Employer finds out that an employee or former employee has filed a claim against them is when they receive a Notice of Claim & Conference (“Notice”). If you ever receive a Notice like this, do not ignore it!
As an Employer, it is extremely important that you understand your rights and obligations upon receipt of such a Notice. Even if you feel the employee is incorrect, you must take action. With legal assistance and proper preparation, this process can be managed effectively!
A Notice will state any claims that have been filed with the DLSE and will provide you with some factual details asserted by the employee. It will also include the date and time of your Conference. The Conference is not an actual hearing on the matter, but rather it is a non-binding settlement conference where you will be able to discuss the employee’s allegations, respond to the claims, and outline any defenses you may have to the Labor Commissioner. The main goal of this Conference is to eliminate or settle the claims. This Conference is extremely important because if you fail to negotiate a settlement with the employee the claim will then move to the next step, which is a Hearing.
The Hearing takes place at the Labor Commissioner’s office where both parties will have the opportunity to present their case using evidence and witness testimony. After the Hearing, the Labor Commissioner will issue a written order that will be served to all parties, that details who has prevailed on the matter, which will be a binding judgment on all the parties.
While there are opportunities to settle these matters during the time a Notice is issued to the time a Hearing would take place, such Notices will not “go away” and Employers must address this immediately taking a Notice of Claim & Conference seriously. If you ever receive such a Notice, please contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt immediately to ensure proper attention to the claims.
The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (photo credit: 123rf.com)