Do I have an legitimate case to file a lawsuit against my workplace

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have an legitimate case to file a lawsuit against my workplace

I was recently hired at a family owed, small business restaurant. My boss didn’t follow a single rule, regulation or law from the very beginning. For instance, I didn’t even fill out a W4 nor did he see, ask or have a copy of my state ID until a month after I started. He was very rude, unprofessional and sexist and/or chovanist on countless occasions. I did numerous jobs that were not at all part of my job description, the place was not up to health code requirements, he offered on several occasions to make an

Asked on October 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can only sue for your *own* losses, not for violations of law or regulations which, even if true, do  not harm you. Based on what you write, that is principally the wages he failed to pay you. You could potentially contact the state department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint for the money and/or sue him in small claims court for the 70 hours plus he failed to pay you.
You may also be able to file an employment discrimination/harassment complaint for sexist comments or treatment, and/or for racists comments or treatment: for this, you would contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency. 
But other violations of tax or employment law which do not hurt you personally are not things you could sue for--you must be a person harmed by actions to sue over them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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