There are a number of things that your employer can do that might violate the wage and hour laws of the state in which you work. These might include:
- Not paying you your agreed upon salary or hourly wages, or not paying you at all.
- Not paying you at the times agreed upon (biweekly, monthly, etc.).
- Not paying you your vacation and/or sick pay.
- Unpaid overtime.
- Unreimbursed business expenses.
If you have not been paid wages for hours that you have worked, the first thing you should do is speak with your employer to see if they have a reasonable explanation for failing to pay you, such as a clerical or bank error.
If, after speaking with your employer, it seems that he/she does not intend to pay you the money that you are owed, you should contact the agency within your state that deals with wage and hour requirements.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there are a number of different ways that you can recover wages owed to you. You can:
- File a claim with your state labor commissioner.
- File a private lawsuit against your employer to recover unpaid wages and possibly other damages.
The remedies that may be available if you are successful in a wage and hour claim against your employer are:
- Recovery of all unpaid wages for hours you worked.
- Recovery of any unpaid overtime.
- Punitive damages or penalty damages.
- Attorney fees and court fee expenses.
If your employer has not paid you the wages that you have earned, you should contact an employment attorney immediately. A lawyer with experience in employment law and litigation can provide you valuable assistance, regardless of whether you want to file a claim with your state's labor board or if you wish to file a lawsuit.