Wage theft happens across the country. Millions of workers are not paid what they are entitled to receive. While sometimes this could be an accident that is quickly and easily corrected, it is often because of the illegal actions and wrongdoing of the employer.
If you are the victim of wage theft in Oklahoma, there are resources available to help you. You are entitled to be compensated the wages that you have earned for your work, so you should act promptly to pursue a claim to recover your losses after you have suffered wage theft.
Failing to pay an employee for even a few minutes of their labor, such as an employee not being paid for the time spent preparing their workstation to get their shift underway or for cleaning up their work area and closing up the location at the end of the shift, can add up fast.
Before you know it, the couple of dollars owed can end up being hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars. You should act as soon as you realize there is a problem and before matters get worse.
Wage theft comes in many forms, such as unpaid overtime, being paid less than minimum wage, hour violations, misclassification of workers, and tipped employee violations. The employer has the burden of proof to show that your wage and theft claim made up against them is not true.
Your employer must keep accurate and thorough records detailing employee work hours and wage practices. If your employer cannot produce supporting documentation, you may be more likely to recover compensation for your damages.
What Do You Need To Know Before You File An Oklahoma Wage Theft Claim?
If you are getting ready to pursue a wage theft claim in Oklahoma, familiarize yourself with the state and federal laws that apply to your situation. Oklahoma has adopted the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25.
You cannot be paid less than minimum wage for your work. Employers who withhold wages are liable for double the amount of any unpaid wages plus any other costs associated with the claim as well as attorney’s fees.
Oklahoma forbids retaliation against any employee who seeks payment for their withheld wages. If you have asked to be compensated any withheld wages, or if you have filed a claim for wage theft and you believe that your employer has retaliated against you, then you can take further action.
Retaliation could involve termination, cutting your hours, switching your work schedule, or so forth. You will need to maintain documentation to support your claim.
How To Report Wage Theft In Oklahoma
If you have suffered wage theft in Oklahoma, you will want to pursue a complaint against your employer so you can recover compensation for your damages and lost earnings. You should learn about the state and federal laws that apply to your situation and how to report wage theft properly.
If your employer owes you money, gather all the supporting evidence so you can show how much you are owed and what you are owed for. This would include your employment contract, employee handbook, memos, paystubs, timecards, witness statements, documentation showing hours worked and breaks, and any other pertinent details.
You should speak with your supervisor or with human resources to try to resolve the matter. If they do not respond or if there is no satisfactory agreement, you can file a wage claim with the Oklahoma Department of Labor.
A representative with the state Department of Labor will review your information and evidence and will investigate your claim. You do not want to wait too long to get your claim filed because there is a statute of limitations – which is called a time limit – for pursuing a claim. If you wait too long, you cannot recover your losses.
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If you have been the victim of wage theft in Oklahoma, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney who handles wage theft claims in Oklahoma. With the help of lawyer, your claim may be likely to succeed. An attorney is familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your specific situation.
When you meet with an attorney, be sure to discuss their payment plans. Some attorneys require a retainer to be paid in advance but some will work on a contingency basis, which means that they do not require payment for their services until you are compensated for your losses by winning your claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page today!