Can my employer fire me for complaining about unpaid wages?

No, it is unlawful for employers to fire workers for complaining about unpaid wages. As an employee, you have the legal right to ask to be paid what you have earned, whether verbally or in writing. You also have the right to complain about unpaid wages directly to your employer, file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or bring a wage lawsuit in court.
Under California’s wrongful termination laws, firing an employee who files a complaint about wage or hour violations can be considered retaliation. Filing a wage claim is considered a legally protected activity. Employers cannot demote, harass, discriminate against or give a pay cut to or engage in other retaliatory actions against workers who participate in this protected activity. 
If you were fired or suffered retaliation for complaining about unpaid wages, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer for their illegal conduct. Discuss your situation with an Oakland employment lawyer at Erlich Law Firm to learn more.

Other Unpaid Wage & Overtime FAQs:


My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

- Jason Erlich

Client testimonials
Jason took the time to explain and guide me through the challenging process, and went the extra steps in consistently providing guidance and putting my concerns and questions high on their list.

Jeff V., Oakland

Jason Erlich made me feel like I was in the right place right away.I had some serious problems with a previous employer and he took care of everything. From the start he helped with my concerns and fears going up against a big corporation.

Susan W., Pacifica

With Jason’s expertise, commitment and aggressiveness, the case is now over and it’s only been 6 months!! I would HIGHLY recommend Jason Erlich to anyone that needs an employment lawyer.

Carla, Petaluma

I can highly recommend Jason Erlich Esq. for any employment law matter. He is an outstanding lawyer, embodies a mix of honesty, knowledge, client care and tough mindset.

Roger J., Oakland

When employees' legal rights are violated, we take time to explain their legal options, listen to their goals, and aggressively argue their case until we achieve the resolution they deserve.