Average Settlement for Unpaid Wages In California

Average Settlement for Unpaid Wages

You may be able to sue your employer if they do not give you the compensation that is required by law. If you want to get the money that is legally yours, it could be preferable for you to file an employment law claim for unpaid wages. It is important to keep in mind, though, that there is no average settlement amount for unpaid wages as you weigh your legal alternatives. There are too many particular criteria that determine how much money you will receive in suing for an unpaid wage for an average settlement. To ascertain the value of your claim and the amount you could potentially receive an employment law attorney can assist you in reviewing your damages. Consider applying for a pre-settlement lawsuit loan from High Rise Financial if you do not have the time to wait for your settlement. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the average settlement for unpaid wages in California. We will also cover topics such as how much you can sue for unpaid wages, suing for unpaid wages, and what to expect during the legal process. 

For Unpaid Wages, There Is No Average Settlement

There are too many variables at work to allow for an average unpaid wage settlement, even if you may be curious about how much money you could be able to get as part of your unpaid wage claim. 

The average expected settlement would be calculated by summing the lowest settlement payouts and the highest settlement payouts. But an average settlement is unattainable because of the sharp salary swings. 

However, your lawyer can assist you in calculating the potential settlement amount for missed pay. You can find out how much your settlement might be worth by examining how your life has been impacted by your income loss, how much you made, and other things.

Factors Affecting the Value of Your Settlement

The amount of money you could receive in your unpaid wages lawsuit depends on several things. Among them are:

  • Your salary-related damages
  • If you incurred any medical costs
  • The consequences of your non-economic losses
  • Should punitive damages come to mind?

Your Salary-Related Damages

You are entitled to damages for every loss you suffer when you bring a claim for unpaid pay. You have the right to damages for wage-related losses and money lost due to unlawful firing or unpaid work hours. These could consist of:

  • Your lack of health insurance from your employer
  • Your loss of contributions to retirement savings made by your employer
  • You forfeit your paid time off.
  • Forfeiture of vacation pay
  • Reduction of sick leave
  • Loss of prospective earnings in the future
  • Reduced ability to earn

In addition, in cases where you have been wrongly terminated due to damage to your professional reputation and have not received the earnings you are entitled to, your attorney may be able to get compensation for these losses.

Medical Expenses 

You might be entitled to reimbursement for your medical costs if you suffered an injury that required time off from work and were not paid for the hours you worked before the incident, or if employment law infractions caused you to need continuous physical therapy or mental health counseling.

This covers more than just the price of a hospital stay and continuing care. You also qualify for reimbursement for the following expenses:

  • Costs of transportation
  • Co-pays for medical services
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • future health care

Non-Prudential Losses

For both monetary losses and non-economic damages originating from your employment dispute, you have a right to compensation. Even though these don’t have a set monetary value, they nevertheless have some value.

When determining the worth of your claim, your attorney will consider the mental pain you went through, the effect your lost income had on your credit report and score, and your incapacity to go about your life as usual. Due to their subjective nature, non-economic damages can have a broad range in value from case to case.

Punitive Damages

When suing for unpaid wages, you are not allowed to obtain punitive damages. However, your compensation might be enhanced to penalize the culpable person for their activities if the court system finds that the defendant’s interaction was willful, heinous, or egregiously negligent.

Punitive damages are granted to penalize the defendant for their wrongdoings and deter future parties from acting similarly.

How to Receive a Payment Advance for Your Settlement of Unpaid Wages

You do not have the luxury of waiting for the resolution of your unpaid pay claim. If you are unemployed due to an incorrect termination, you may require further financial support.

If you don’t pay your monthly bills, you risk financial ruin, foreclosure, and being forwarded to debt collectors. Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with such severe financial instability if you get in touch with a qualified lawyer.

How Much Can You Sue for Unpaid Wages?

You will be entitled to your unpaid wages first. An employee who wins a wage claim or lawsuit against their employer will receive compensation for unpaid wages. Any unpaid overtime premium falls under this category. You will receive the difference between your regular earnings and the overtime premium you should have received if your employer paid you regular wages for the overtime.


In California, is it possible to sue for unpaid wages?

California employees have the right to sue for unpaid wages if employers fail to provide them with their owed wages.

What is California’s unpaid wage penalty?

The first infraction of not paying an employee results in a fine of $100. The penalty for each consecutive infraction, deliberate or willful, is $200 for each unpaid employee, plus 25% of the wrongfully withheld earnings.

What is California’s interest rate on overdue wages?

According to California law, the interest rate is different for each year and type of wage owed. In California, the interest rate for delinquent wages was 5% as of January 1, 2022. This rate covers most unpaid wage categories, including the normal rate of pay, overtime pay, commission earnings, and bonuses.

What is the duration of retroactive pay?

The employer has 180 days to pay and provide retroactive compensation after signing a new collective agreement, often requiring pay adjustments before determining retroactive compensation.


Unpaid wages are a significant issue that requires immediate attention, despite the possibility of avoiding suing your employer.

To ensure your employer reimburses you for underpaid pay, it’s crucial to understand your rights and handle the situation appropriately.

In terms of suing for unpaid wages, undocumented workers have equal rights, so don’t hesitate to file legal action if they haven’t received payment from their employer.

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