We all like to think that our employers look out for their employees. While this is certainly the case in most situations, there are times when employers either cheat their employees to save money or negligently fail to adhere to federal wage and hour laws without knowing it. Regardless of the reason, though, employers who fail to properly pay their employees need to be held accountable. After all, employees are literally giving pieces of their life, often in eight hour chunks at a time, for the betterment of their employer. At the very least, these men and women deserve to be treated in accordance with the law, which means paying them what they are owed.
Employees who feel that they have been cheated by their employer can take steps to recoup their unpaid wages. First, they will likely need to file a complaint with the Department of Labor. This Department’s Wage and Hour Division will then investigate the complaint, which may include close examination of payroll records and interviews with other employees. Once the investigation is complete, the Department of Labor will then decide whether federal employment law was violated and, if so, whether back pay is owed.
Even when the Department of Labor indicates that a violation has occurred, some employers refuse to pay owed wages. Under these circumstances, workers need to be prepared to take legal action. If such a worker succeeds on a lawsuit for back pay, then he or she may also be able to recover attorney fees and court costs.
Although our time, as Americans, is priceless, we are constantly putting a price on it in the form of an hourly wage or salary. Californians need to stand up to their employers when they are taken advantage of and denied what they are owed, lest they leave other workers susceptible to similar unfair treatment. To learn more about how to hold an employer accountable to employment law, wronged workers can speak with an attorney of their choosing.
Source: FindLaw, “How to Report Unpaid Wages and Recover Back Pay,” accessed on March 13, 2017