Unpaid Wage Penalties
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What Are Unpaid Wage Disputes?
Unpaid wage claims occur when an employer withholds wages from a worker or from a group of workers. This can happen in a number of different ways, including:
- Partial withholding of some wages
- Complete withholding of an entire paycheck
- Unpaid wages due to miscalculation of wages/hours
- Intentional withholding of wages (for instance, in connection with a termination or other cause of action)
- Disputes regarding overtime pay
- Failure to pay minimum wages or wages according to a contract agreement
In many cases, unpaid wages may be due to a simple clerical or accounting error. More serious cases may involve instances where large groups of workers have systematically had their wages withheld from them.
Penalties for Employers Who Failed to Pay Wages
In many cases, unpaid wages can result in various consequences or penalties for the employer. This can occur especially in cases where the employer was at fault in their decision not to transfer the wages to a worker. Penalties may include:
- Damages award in a civil claim for the unpaid wages
- Court sanctions, including additional fines
- Injunctions to change company wage policies
- Change in management or supervisor positions
Unpaid wage claims can sometimes lead to other investigations of the company, such as those involving unreported assets or company accounts, hiring of undocumented immigrants, and tax fraud.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
Unpaid wage claims often involve a dispute or a misunderstanding regarding wage garnishment. Wage garnishment is where an employer is authorized to withhold a portion of the employee’s paycheck and divert it to a government agency. This is often the case with issues such as child support, outstanding debts, and property lien issues.
In such cases, the employer is required to follow certain steps, such as providing notice to the employee, keeping proper records, and notifying the recipient agency. Failure to follow these steps could result in liability for the employer.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with an Unpaid Wage Lawsuit?
Issues involving unpaid wages can sometimes be very technical and complicated. You may need to hire an employment attorney if you need help with any employment law issues. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice for your claims and can also represent in court as needed. Also, your lawyer can help answer any specific questions or inquiries that might arise during the course of trial.
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Last Modified: 09-09-2014 03:08 PM PDT
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