How do you know a wage claim is worth pursuing? You deserve compensation for all your regular and overtime work. However, there are several factors you must take into account to determine your next steps.
Gathering as much documentation as you can before you start, as well as taking important factors into account, will help you on your journey. You, however, do not need any documentation to file a wage claim. Read on to learn more about deciding whether you should pursue your wage claim.
What Factors Could Derail Your Efforts to Recover Wages?
There is a chance that the expense of pursuing a claim may be more than what you would recover. An employment lawyer can help you evaluate the viability of your claim more easily.
You can always join your unpaid wages claim with those of other similar employees if they have encountered the same types of wage problems. This type of multi-employee litigation is called class or collective action. Employers will take these types of claims more seriously when filed as class-action or collective action lawsuits because the employer’s potential liability for unpaid wages is much greater with multiple employees.
Your employer’s financial stability may be an issue, particularly if there has been a pattern of mismanagement. One of the ways employers often try to get around these obligations is by filing for bankruptcy. Again, your employment lawyer will assist you in evaluating the financial strength of the employer who has refused to pay you.
Why a Wage Claim is Worth Pursuing for Wages Owed and Overtime
If your wage claim is worth pursuing, you will likely want to focus on the strongest claims. These claims will commonly include wages owed and unpaid overtime.
Employees should always receive the hourly wage or salary promised for all of the hours worked. However, employers will often find ways to get out of paying the entire amount owed to their employees.
As an employee, you should receive time and a half payment for all overtime worked unless you are legally exempt from the overtime laws due to your job duties. However, many employers will not pay overtime either by working hourly employees off the clock or paying employees a salary when they do not legally qualify for it.
Keeping careful records of all your paychecks, as well as any overtime hours, is helpful as you pursue your case. An attorney will find it easier to determine how viable your case is if you have a lot of documentation supporting everything. You should print off or save all of our paychecks from the internet if you believe your employer is not paying you all wages due. Employers will often deny employees access to online paychecks and other systems once employees assert unpaid wages claims.
What Role Do Deductions, Severance Packages, and Other Factors Play?
Many employers will take deductions from employees’ paychecks for things that they claim the employee owes. However, employees can only deduct specific costs other than taxes or insurance, and generally only if you’ve signed a written agreement to have the specific costs deducted from your paycheck.
One of the biggest problems with these types of deductions is that they sometimes have nothing to do with you. You might only know about them when you see them noted on your paycheck. An employer usually cannot deduct expenses which benefit the employer more than they benefit employees.
Many employers offer severance packages for employees that leave a job. If an employer offers you one of these packages, you should consider the terms and conditions carefully.
A condition that comes with these packages is waiving wage and other claims against the employer. These packages could be worth a lot less than the wages that would otherwise be owed.
Why is Getting Advice Before Pursuing a Claim a Good Idea?
A major mistake that many employees make is trusting their employer to provide beneficial advice. Employers will advise you to do what benefits them.
In addition to helping you decide if you should pursue a claim, we will answer questions that you’re bound to have during this process. Contact us today if you want to find out if your wage claim is worth pursuing and what your next steps should be.