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Get Your Money! Sample Demand Letter for Unpaid Wages in CA

A demand letter for unpaid wages is a formal written communication sent by an employee to their employer to request payment for wages that have not been received. This article contains a sample of demand letter for unpaid wages in the state of California.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

What is a Demand Letter for Unpaid Wages?

According to BoloSign, a demand letter for unpaid wages is issued to an employer who owes you money but has not paid you. This could be a present company that missed paydays, a previous employer who forgot to deliver you your last salary, more money for unused earned vacation pay, etc. [1].

This letter outlines your legal entitlement to unpaid wages and emphasizes the urgency of the situation, seeking prompt resolution before escalating the matter further. Typically, a demand letter is the initial step taken before considering legal action.

Unpaid wages can manifest in various forms, from missing final paychecks to violations of minimum wage laws or overtime compensation. Instances of wage theft can include not adhering to legal pay standards or making unauthorized deductions from wages.

If you’ve encountered any of these situations, sending an unpaid wages demand letter is a proactive step towards securing the compensation rightfully owed to you.

Why is a Demand Letter for Unpaid Wages Important?

According to People Clerk, an effective and straightforward way to demand your wages is to send your employer a well-crafted demand letter. The main point of the letter is to state you are owed wages and that you want to collect [2].

Here are several compelling reasons why initiating a demand letter is advantageous:

  • Legal Requirement: Depending on the jurisdiction where you plan to file a lawsuit, initiating a demand for payment may be a mandatory step before commencing legal proceedings. For instance, in California’s small claims court, demanding payment is a prerequisite.
  • Organizational Tool: Crafting a demand letter allows you to methodically structure your case. By outlining the key facts, legal arguments, and supporting evidence, you not only prepare for potential litigation but also gain clarity on the strengths of your claim.
  • Court Evidence: A demand letter can serve as valuable evidence in court proceedings. It demonstrates to the judge that you attempted to resolve the dispute outside of litigation. Additionally, it highlights your employer’s potential liability for “waiting time penalties” if they failed to issue your last paycheck despite your request.
  • Potential Resolution: Perhaps the most significant benefit of sending a demand letter is the possibility of resolving the issue without resorting to legal action. Many employers may comply with the demand upon receiving the letter, thus saving both parties time and resources associated with litigation.

By leveraging a demand letter, you not only assert your rights to unpaid wages but also position yourself strategically for potential legal proceedings while keeping the door open for an amicable resolution.

Also Read: How to Win a Wage Claim in California?

California Unpaid Wage Demand Letter Sample

[Your name, address, and contact information]

[Today’s date]

[Your supervisor’s name and employer’s address]

Dear [supervisor’s name],

I am writing to address a concerning matter regarding unpaid wages owed to me from my employment with [employer’s company name]. On March 1st, 2022, my employment with the company was terminated, and as of that date, I am owed $700 in unpaid wages for the pay period spanning from February 20th to March 1st, 2022. Despite several attempts to rectify this issue, I have yet to receive payment for the outstanding amount.

I hereby demand immediate payment of the full sum owed to me, totaling $700, before April 10th, 2022. Failure to comply with this demand will leave me with no choice but to pursue legal action to recover the unpaid wages. This may involve initiating proceedings to transfer the debt to a collection agency, in which case, you may be held responsible for any associated costs, including attorney’s fees.

Please be advised that this letter serves as a formal demand for payment and will be utilized as evidence in any legal proceedings regarding this matter. If you dispute the amount owed, it is imperative that you remit the correct sum along with an explanation for the discrepancy.

Kindly remit payment to the following address:

[Your address]

I trust that you will promptly address this matter to avoid further escalation. Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.


[Your name and signature]

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