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Wage Theft: What You Need To Know

The act of wage theft is more common than people think. Every year, billions of dollars are stolen from workers. This situation can be frightening, leaving many people unsure how to get their wages back. Luckily, there is help. Contacting a lawyer can help recover your money through a wage dispute.

Legal Counseling

Consider hiring an experienced employment lawyer who can help with your legal case. Wage dispute cases can be challenging because of the many factors involved. Employment contracts, state labor laws, and federal labor laws all have to be considered in a wage dispute case. Hiring legal counsel also increases the chances of recovering lost wages. It is important to hire a lawyer in your state that understands the complexities of employment law. There is more at feldman.law on how to hire an experienced employment attorney.

What is a Wage Dispute?

Federal law mandates guidelines for wages that every employer must follow. The Federal Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employees the federal minimum wage. The law also requires that employers pay employees for overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their usual wage. Overtime is defined as more than 40 hours worked in a workweek. A wage dispute is when an employee feels that an employer has either underpaid them or not paid them at all. As an employee, you are entitled to sue an employer if they violate the Federal Labor Standards law.

Employee Protection

Wage disputes are common. Because of this, there a numerous state and federal agencies designed to assist employees with complaints. Many employees do not file complaints out of fear of retaliation or threats of losing their job. These agencies help employees recover their wages safely and confidentially.

Filing a Complaint

The first step in starting your legal process is filing a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. This complaint, or claim, is the first act that employees take to recover lost or unpaid wages. There are two ways to file a complaint: by phone or online. Both methods are confidential. Once the complaint is filed, the agency will contact the employee to ask questions about the complaint. Further investigation might be needed before a determination is made in the dispute. For some employees, legal counsel is not needed and the wage dispute can be settled with just a complaint. This might not always be the case, as some employers are willing to take the case to court.

Preparing for Court

There is a chance that your wage dispute complaint will go to court. It is suggested to have as much evidence as possible to increase the chances of recovering your wages. Documents such as check stubs, bank statements, employment forms, text messages, and emails can help strengthen your case.

Wage theft is a growing epidemic, but victims do not have to suffer in silence. If you or someone you know is a victim of wage or salary theft, there are experts that can help. Contacting an employment attorney can help you recover your money.


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