Any company, regardless of its size, is out to turn a profit. But, any company that tries to make money by not paying its employees violates federal and state wage laws. Employers will use many tactics to avoid paying employees full compensation.
It is important to know that you and other employees are entitled to receive full compensation for all the hours you work. The employer must pay employees for all regular hours worked and all overtime hours worked which is generally all hours over forty hours per week.
You can bring a legal claim against your employer if it has been holding back wages, not paying for any overtime you have worked, or refusing to pay for anything else you have earned, like holiday time, or sick leave. Employees can recover unpaid wages including overtime, liquidated damages which can be double any unpaid wages, and costs of bringing the lawsuit including lawyers’ fees and expenses.
What Are Unpaid Wages?
All too often, people are unaware of wages that employers owed them. Unpaid wage laws vary from state to state. Generally, unpaid wages can include:
- Not receiving the agreed wages
- Minimum wage
- Legal breaks
- Travel time
- Set up, prep, or tear-down time
- Unused vacation time
Unpaid wages may start small, but they add up quickly to deny you the money you have earned. For example, if you are expected to respond to emails or phone calls after hours, take work home, come in early, ‘help out’ on your day off, or work through your break, this unpaid work can add up quickly if your employer refuses to pay you for this work.
What Should I Do?
If your employer owes you money for unpaid wages, you can make an attempt at the workplace to get it. If you feel comfortable, you can talk to your immediate supervisor, payroll, human resources, upper management, or others in your management chain.
You can also contact an employment lawyer. You should choose a lawyer who has experience in representing employees in wage cases.
Your employer will also engage a lawyer. If they have done this to you, they will likely have done it to others. It is a smart idea to find out if any of your co-workers have money and wages owing to them, as well. This will strengthen your case.
What Can I Expect to Win?
Federal and state wage laws provide that employees can recover any unpaid wages including overtime. This usually means that employees can recover the difference between the money the employer paid employees and the money the employees actually earned. This also means that you can sue for all wages due you including overtime if the employer did not pay you anything for your work.
In some cases, employees may recover twice the unpaid wages as liquidated damages under federal and/or state law if the employer intentionally failed to pay wages owed to you.
Employees may also be entitled to recover attorney’s fees, wage penalties, and other lawsuit expenses if employees win their wage case.
Please contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC if you believe your employer failed to pay you the full compensation that you have earned. Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC has vast experience in litigating wage cases in court across the United States