When you go to work you have every expectation to be paid properly and on time for the work you do. Let’s face it, every now and then mistakes happen.
After all, we are only human and the folks at Human Resources have a lot going on. If you notice a mistake on your paycheck then it should be resolved immediately.
However, there are situations when the “mistake” on your paycheck isn’t a mistake at all. It could be an example of wage theft, and wage theft is illegal.
Imagine if you work overtime and you are expecting to see that overtime in your check, but when payday arrives there is no overtime and payroll says you are not entitled to overtime.
Even if you know you worked overtime, there is not a lot you can do on your own to remedy the situation if your company is digging in its heels.
That is when you should consider hiring an employment law attorney to help you determine your next steps and file a claim for your unpaid overtime.
No matter what the circumstances are with your wage theft case, having someone there to help guide you through the process will make a huge difference.
What Is A Wage Theft Claim?
Wage theft is something that happens in companies of all sizes, every single day. It doesn’t matter if you work in a major corporation or a local shop, wage theft happens everywhere. The only way to recoup those losses, in many cases, is to file a wage theft claim.
You have the option of filing a wage theft claim or pursuing a private lawsuit against your employer. In both cases the outcome can be the same, and there are benefits to hiring a lawyer to help you no matter which option you choose.
Wage theft includes the following situations:
- Failure to pay for total hours worked
- Failure to pay overtime
- Failure to provide final paycheck upon leaving a job
- Failure to pay minimum wage
- Failure to provide payment entirely
If you have experienced one of these situations and your employer is not working to resolve the situation, then you will need to file a claim with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Department (WHD).
These claims can be difficult because you have to provide a great deal of documentation. Though the WHD is the federal agency in charge of helping workers with wage theft issues, there are also state and local agencies that might impact the way you file your claim.
Having an expert working on your case will ensure that you’re following all of the necessary steps to file your claim so that you don’t have to worry about it.
How Can An Employment Law Attorney Help Me?
Each state has different laws that govern wage theft. Minimum wage is different in different states and cities, for example, so if you do not believe you are being paid minimum wage then you also need to enlist the help of your state’s labor department.
An attorney can help you determine what your next steps should be. In some cases it could be that a letter from an attorney will help spur your employer into action, but if you need to file a claim then your attorney will help you to collect all of the evidence you need and to file the claim.
While there is no guarantee that securing a lawyer will lead to a win for your case, the chances that your claim will be approved improve greatly when you have an employment law attorney working with you.
You might be concerned about hiring an employment law attorney because of the potential costs. The good news is that you can often meet for a free consultation with an attorney to present your information and see whether or not there is a strong case for you.
During the meeting the lawyer will tell you about fees and how much it will cost to take your case. In many instances, employment law attorneys will work on a contingency basis, meaning they will only be paid should you win your case.
Possible Remedies for Wage Theft Cases
The benefit of hiring an employment law attorney is that an attorney can help you to receive the maximum remedies for your claim.
Common remedies include the lost wages that you were denied, any lost wages you have incurred over the course of your claim, any out of pocket costs associated with the case, your legal fees and possibly emotional distress as a result of the case.
An experienced employment law attorney will understand the remedies to which you are entitled and will work to make sure you receive them.
Complete a free case evaluation to learn more about how an employment law attorney might be able to help you with your case.