Wage theft should be taken seriously. You should be attentive to your earnings to make sure you are paid for all your work. If you suspect that you have been the victim of wage theft in Louisiana, you do have resources available. If you believe that your employer has violated your wage rights, you should take action so you can recover your lost earnings and any other damages that the wage theft may have caused you.
What You Need to Know Before You File a Wage Theft Claim
If you suspect you have been the victim of wage theft, you should know how to proceed with your claim. Before you file a claim with a government body, or before you file a lawsuit, you should try to resolve the matter with your employer.
You should speak with a supervisor or with human resources. Provide copies of documentation and evidence but be sure to keep the original documents yourself. You should be able to provide a total value for your claim and show how much you have lost because of the wage theft.
Be sure to maintain evidence that you notified the employer and document any response that you receive regarding the wage theft. You need to be familiar with the laws.
In Louisiana, the laws require employers to give employees who are minors an unpaid meal break if they work five hours or longer. If you are a minor and you have not been given a break as the law requires, the law has been violated. You cannot file a wage, hour, or labor standards claim in the state unless you have worked, and you did not receive the pay that you earned.
How To Report Wage Theft
If you believe you have been the victim of wage theft in Louisiana, should act promptly to recover your losses. Under federal law, you are entitled to receive overtime if you have worked more than 40 hours during a workweek.
Be sure to keep copies of timecards or time sheets. Make notes documenting any breaks and coworkers because those coworkers can serve as witnesses. You will need documentation to show when you worked, what you were paid, and how much you are owed.
Your first step would be to speak with your employer about the situation. If your employer does not work with you to resolve the issue, you have two options.
You can either go ahead and file a lawsuit against your employer for the stolen wages, or you can file a formal complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Either way, you will need to detail the situation and provide your evidence and supporting documentation.
The U.S. Department of Labor will investigate your claim and will contact your employer to resolve the matter. If they cannot resolve the issue, they will then recommend you pursue a lawsuit against your employer to recover the lost wages and your damages. Often, the matter can be resolved before it advances to court.
There is a statute of limitations, which is a time limit, for pursuing a claim after you have suffered wage theft. If you do not get your claim underway during that time, you will not be able to recover your damages.
It is imperative to be attentive and to catch any wage discrepancies right away, so you can work on recouping your losses. You have earned those wages and are entitled to receive them, so be sure to access the resources available to you and familiarize yourself with the state and federal laws that apply.
Fill Out a Free Evaluation Form
Failing to properly pay employees for their overtime earned is one of the more common wage violations by employers. If you believe that you are the victim of wage theft in Louisiana, you may want to enlist the help of an employment law attorney.
An attorney is familiar with the applicable laws and will know the best way to proceed with your claim. Your lawyer will investigate and help gather supporting evidence and documentation.
Some employment law attorneys who handle wage theft claims work on a contingency basis, but others do require a retainer to be paid in advance. Time is of the essence, so complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your wage theft in Louisiana so you can get your claim on the right track in a timely fashion.