If your employer illegally withholds your wages you might find it hard to keep up with your monthly expenses. After all, you have earned pay for all time you work and the law requires the employer to pay you for all work time.
Employers must be held accountable when they fail to pay employees for all work performed including overtime. Regardless of the size of the business, an unpaid wage attorney can help you.
How Unpaid Wages Are a Burden on Hardworking Americans
Although the American economy continues to grow, not everyone shares in this growth and enjoys the maximum benefits. Wages have remained stagnant for many people since 1979, according to research from the Economic Policy Institute.
Many employees have experienced their earnings levels drop or only rise modestly. This makes employers paying employees for all time worked even more important as inflation continues to increase. Now, more than ever, it is important for employees to not allow employers to escape from paying for all time worked.
Employees who suffer from illegal employer wage payment practices suffer economic uncertainty because they never know how much they will earn and they must work more hours for less pay. Federal and state laws mandate that employers pay employees for all time worked including overtime.
Can You Sue If Your Employer Withholds Your Wages?
Your employer is obligated to pay you for all time worked under state and federal law. If your employer withholds your wages and refuses to pay you on time or in full, you may have the right to pursue legal action to recover your withheld wages.
Paying less than minimum wage is also a common violation. Federal and state law require employers to pay employees at least the mandated minimum wage. You can discuss the minimum wage rate applicable to you with your employment attorney. That rate differs depending upon the state in which you work.
Your employer is also obligated to overtime pay whenever you work more than 40 hours in a week. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and often state law require employers to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per week.
Employees who quit their jobs or get terminated from their positions often have to deal with their employer denying or delaying the final wage payment including any unused vacation. States have different laws as to the payment of final paychecks so you should contact an employment attorney if the employer delays or denies your final wages.
You should obtain your paychecks or paystubs, and any other pay information before you leave your job if you believe your employer has possibly violated the law. Often, the more information you have that may help your case, the better. However, you do not need any records to file a wage lawsuit.
What Are Some Possible Wage Violations You May Not Have Thought About?
Employees who work on a commission may think that the same rules than apply to other employees don’t apply in this case. However, many of the same employment laws apply to commissioned employees. These employees should obtain their commission agreements before they leave their job because these agreements will often govern the employees’ final commission payments.
Tip earnings cannot be used to reduce any employee’s paycheck. However, this is a common violation which impacts waitstaff, bartenders, and others in the service industry. Again, this is a complicated area of the law. You should contact an employment attorney if you believe your employer is stealing your tips or sharing them with employees who do not serve customers.
Some employers will try to force employees to work through unpaid meal periods. Employers must relieve employees from all work during a meal period or the employer must pay for it. Meal period violations commonly occur in the health care and nursing home industries.
Failure to provide earned vacation time is also another common violation. Many employees don’t realize that they are still owed accrued vacation time after leaving their employer. Paid vacation time eligibility depends upon the employer’s policies and state law. Your employment attorney is the best resource for vacation time payment.
Getting the Help You Need from an Attorney
Many employees who have been wronged by an employer might feel as though the company has the upper hand. However, the worst thing that you can do is let your employer’s unfair behavior go unchecked.
Contacting an attorney with experience in employment law will help increase your chances of a successful resolution to your case. Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC today to find out how we can assist you in recovering your withheld wages.