Federal and state laws govern the payment of wages to employees. Each set of rules is broad and the interplay between these rules can be complex. For example, if your employer has not paid you your full salary, you may be entitled to penalties, and in most situations, attorney’s fees and litigation costs. This is, of course, in addition to the back wages that are owed to you. In other cases, an employer’s failure to compensate you for work allows you to bring forth other causes of action, like a claim of unfair competition if you work in California.
If you want to successfully enforce state and federal laws that protect employees against unlawful practices by their employers, you need the assistance of an experienced and skilled attorney. Your chances of achieving success in an employment case without such a lawyer are low. Aside from being well versed in the law and court procedures, a lawyer also knows the kind of information and documents you need to obtain, and how to present witnesses to the court and jury.
You should not believe that you can win a case without a lawyer. Not only are you going to run the risk of losing, but you also might end up having to pay your employer for their attorneys’ fees.
You have many wage rights including payment for these and you can make a claim against the employer if it fails to pay these types of wages:
- Minimum wage
- For break time provided by law
- For “off-the-clock” work
- For untaken, accrued vacation time
- For premium overtime pay for hours worked over the legal straight-hour maximum
- For travel time during the workday that is related to work
These wages may seem straightforward, but they often are not. An employment lawyer can assist you in strategizing as to how to best proceed in collecting your unpaid wages.
What Can a Lawyer Do?
Aside from helping you determine whether your employer’s practices are fair or are in violation of any federal or state law, an employment lawyer can also explain your options as to how you can collect your unpaid wages. This includes helping you decide whether a case is worth pursuing or not. The option of taking the case to court is always there, but you may want to pursue your unpaid wages other than by filing a lawsuit. One example of this is in some states, you can file a claim for unpaid wages with the state labor department, which would then hold a hearing to determine a decision on the claim. This is less expensive but is often a slower alternative compared to a lawsuit. However, it also has some drawbacks, which an employment lawyer can discuss with you. Another option is to get in touch with your employer to try and work out an amicable settlement.
An employment lawyer can also give you a clear evaluation of your chances of success in every option, and the subsequent cost for this. Your lawyer can discuss with you the potential recovery from this as well as the attorney’s fees that you may have to cover to pursue the case.
Again, you should consider how important it is that you get the services of an attorney who specializes in employment or labor law. If you want to get in touch with an employment lawyer, you can contact the Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC. To learn more, you can visit their website at https://www.rmlegalgroup.com/.