Small Claims Court

I am demanding 300.00 from employer for unpaid wages. Am I suppose to also add
more for the time spent doing so? Fees and emotional damage? Please advise.

Asked on March 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, in a lawsuit like this (for unpaid wages) you cannot recover additional amounts for your time, for legal costs (if you have an attorney), for any costs of lawsuit (e.g. mail, parking at the court, milieage, copies, etc.) other than the filing fee, or for emotional distress--all you can sue for are the actual unpaid wages. It is essentially a contractual claim--they violated the agreement (even if only an oral, or unwritten one) pursuant to which they would pay you for the work done; in a contractual claim, you are limited to recovering the money should have received under the contract, and in any lawsuit, you cannot be compensated  for time, costs, or attorney fees. (There are a very few causes of action which by statute, or law, allow recover of attorney's fees--but this is not one of them.)

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