Not being paid for the time you are owed is very frustrating. It is also illegal. You should and legally must act timely if you are considering filing a case against your employer for unpaid overtime.
Federal law provides that you can file a case to collect your unpaid wages two years after the violation or three years after the violation if it was willful. The time period you have to file an unpaid wages action is known as the statute of limitations. Some states have their own unpaid wages laws. Most states follow the federal statute of limitations and provide that you must file any unpaid wages claim within three years of the violation. However, there are some states which have longer time periods such as California and New York.
You are protected by either your state or federal laws, sometimes both, to receive the wages and overtime to which you are entitled. Your employment lawyer should evaluate whether to sue for unpaid wages under federal law, state law, or both.
Before You Sue
You may want to contact your employer and attempt to obtain your unpaid overtime compensation on your own before you file a lawsuit. The employer most often will deny the claim and not pay the overtime wages due. The employer wants to avoid paying as much wages as possible to save money.
It will generally help your case if the employer is also not paying other employees all overtime wages earned. The employer will likely take unpaid wages claims much more seriously if numerous employees make the same claim.
Wage Claim – Department of Labor
It is possible for employees to contact the Department of Labor (“DOL)” to file an unpaid wage claim. Often, employees find that the DOL is difficult to contact and slower to respond. You should not wait on the DOL to respond if you have contacted the DOL. Your wage claim is expiring daily while you wait on the DOL.
File a Lawsuit
Employees can file a lawsuit against their employer to recover unpaid wages including overtime. Make an appointment with an employment lawyer to get the best advice.
An employment lawyer will be able to show you all of the wage laws that your employer has violated. A lawyer can also help you file a wage claim rather than doing it on your own.
Contact an employment lawyer here at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to ask any questions you may have and to find out if your employer has violated the wage laws. Your first consultation is free and confidential, so you have nothing to lose.
You work hard and are entitled to the pay you have earned. Do not allow your employer take your hard-earned pay away from you.