Wage theft is commonplace. There are billions of dollars of wages stolen from employees across the country every year.
As an employee, you have a responsibility to play close attention to your paycheck and to make sure that you are paid for all the hours that you worked and the wages that you earned. Always keep a copy of timesheets or timecards and be sure to check your paystubs and/or paycheck every payday.
Most employees are covered by wage theft laws. If you believe that you have been the victim of wage theft, start gathering supporting evidence and documentation.
You will need to do this promptly, as time is limited to pursue a claim. Unfortunately, many employees don’t realize that they have been the victim of wage theft for quite some time, so stay attentive and watch for any discrepancies.
Be sure to maintain thorough documentation and evidence that indicates your payrate, hours worked, and what you are paid.
You could fall victim to wage theft at any time, so it is imperative to maintain proper files and supporting evidence in the event you must pursue a claim against your employer and try to recover your wages.
With the right evidence, you can succeed with your claim and recover your lost earnings.
Make Sure Your Claim Is Filed Timely
You will need to file your claim within a specific amount of time, or you will not be able to recover compensation for your lost wages.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows workers two years to pursue a claim for wage theft. However, if you can prove that the theft was willful and intentional you may have up to three years after the fact to file a claim.
States often have their own laws in place regarding employment matters such as wage theft. In those situations, you may have a little bit longer to pursue a claim, but you don’t want to wait too long to get your claim filed.
You will need to check the state laws and make sure you are still within the time limit. You will want to claim the wages that you were not paid as far back as possible.
As an example, in California you will file the complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. In California you have a year to file a wage theft claim for penalties regarding a bounced check or failing to provide access to payroll or personnel records.
You have two years to pursue a claim for an oral promise that said you would receive more than minimum wage.
You have up to three years to pursue a claim for violations of overtime, minimum wage, unpaid meal and rest breaks, sick leave, unpaid reimbursements, or illegal deductions from your paycheck.
An employment law attorney who is licensed in your state will be familiar with the laws that apply and the timeframe for pursuing a claim against your employer for wage theft. An attorney can also investigate your claim and gather the supporting evidence and documentation that is needed to make your claim strong.
Enlist The Help Of An Employment Law Attorney
Your employer will have legal representation looking out for their interests, so you will need to make sure that you have legal representation making sure you are treated fairly and that your rights are protected. An attorney will know how to proceed with your claim and will have experience in pursuing wage theft claims.
When you retain an employment law attorney be sure to discuss their payment and the process with them.
Some employment lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will not be paid until you win your claim. You should gather an understanding of the payment process and the claims process as well.
Every wage theft claim varies greatly from the others, so talk with your lawyer about your specific claim. Don’t wait until it is too late to recover your wages.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your case with an attorney who handles wage theft claims in your area. Remember that time is of the essence to your claim’s success.