Home » Ask the County Law Librarian: Appealing a Labor Decision

Ask the County Law Librarian: Appealing a Labor Decision


I work in a restaurant and feel my employer was not paying me for the hours I worked, so I filed a wage claim against my employer for unpaid wages. We had a hearing last week, and I lost, the notice I received said I could appeal, do you have any ideas on how to do this?



The Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), was established to adjudicate wage claims, investigate discrimination and public works complaints, and enforce Labor Code statutes and Industrial Welfare Commission orders.  After an employee files a wage claim, the DLSE will either schedule a conference or a hearing in order to reach a decision.

If after receiving the Labor Commissioner’s Order, Decision, or Award (ODA) no appeal action is taken, the commissioner’s decision becomes final.  However, according to California Labor Code section 98.2, either party may appeal the Labor Commissioners’ Order, Decision, or Award within 10 days of the commissioner’s service of the decision by filing an appeal to the superior court, where the appeal shall be heard de novo, which means that a judge will hear the case again with each party having the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. For more information on this process, see the DLSE’s Policies and Procedures for Wage Claim Processing.


The party appealing may obtain a Notice of Appeal (DLSE 537) from the DLSE office or from their website. The Notice of Appeal must be served on both the Labor Commissioner and the opposing party. There is a first paper filing fee of $355.00 for filing the Notice of Appeal that is determined by Government Code section 70611.

In Sacramento, appeals of the Labor Commissioner cases are filed with the Civil Unit at 720 9th Street, in Room 102. In addition, an appeal of the Labor Commissioner must include a copy of the order, decision, or award, a copy of the complaint and any answer filed with the Labor Commissioner, and a declaration of proof of service of the notice of appeal being sent to the Labor Commissioner pursuant to Local Rule 2.18.

Do you have a question for the County Law Librarian? Just email sacpress@saclaw.org. If your question is selected your answer will appear in next Thursday’s column. Even if your question isn’t selected, though, I will still respond within two weeks.


Coral Henning, Director
@coralh & @saclawlibrarian

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