if I’m paid under the table, cash, can I still do a case with the labor board if my employer won’t pay what I’m owed?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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if I’m paid under the table, cash, can I still do a case with the labor board if my employer won’t pay what I’m owed?

I work full time for someone who pays me under
the table weekly. I don’t receive any pay stubs,
I don’t have workers comp, no benefits, just cash
for hours worked. I’ve worked for the same person
for almost a year now. 40 hours plus a week, and
I get paid every Friday for the previous week of
work. I do keep track of my hours with the time
card, which my employer has paid me correctly
every payday since I started. but last week’s
paycheck and this week’s paycheck they are
refusing to give me. can I still file a case with
the California labor board, even though my
paycheck is cash

Asked on August 30, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can bring a case to the labor board and/or sue (such as in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se") for the money. Bear in mind that if you were paid under the table and there have never been pay stubs, it may be difficult to prove that you were not paid: there is no evidence or documentation of payment generally, and so nothing (or no lack of anything) to point to this time to substantiate your case.
Also bear in mind if you were paid "under the table" then unless you were careful to report all income and pay all taxes due from you, then since there was no withholding, you have likely violated the tax laws: regardless of how they are paid, taxpayers have the obligation to make sure they report all income and pay the appropriate taxes. If this comes to the attention of the tax authorities, you could face liability.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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