What Should You Do When an Employer Hasn’t Paid You?
When you get a job, you do it for one purpose: earning money that you can use to survive and support your family. Each month, you expect to receive your paycheck on a specific date. But if an employer hasn’t paid you, you may begin to panic and not know what to do, especially if you don’t have other ways to support yourself.
There are many reasons why an employer might be unable to pay your salary. Sometimes, employees are fired by their bosses and do not recover their final check. Other times, an employer does not pay overtime wages or simply pays a worker less than they deserve.
What can you do when your employer has not paid you? Here are a few steps you can take.
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1. Look in Your Employment Manual or Agreement
Your employment manual should mention your rights and all the aspects regarding your job and the way you are paid. If you were terminated not long ago or there was a difference in timing that resulted in you not getting your salary, it should be mentioned in the manual.
For instance, if a payment would happen on a weekend or holiday, the manual should mention when you can expect to be paid. Also, if you were fired and have certain equipment at home, you may have to return it before getting paid, or the value will be taken from your paycheck. All aspects should be addressed in the employment agreement.
2. Talk to Your Employer
Employers are people too, and they can make mistakes. If you had an overall good relationship with your employer and didn’t make any mistakes or act in a bad way, then you may be completely taken aback by the fact that you did not receive your salary yet.
You can try to talk to your employer and find out what happened. Perhaps it was only a simple mistake, and your boss will apologize for it and fix it as soon as possible.
However, if you attempt to talk to an employer and they don’t want to cooperate, they treat you badly, and try to make you leave, you should stay as calm as possible. Getting emotional will not help, but rather make the situation worse. It’s best to leave and use other tactics to get your money.
3. Report the Unpaid Wages
You are entitled to the money you worked for, and when the employer doesn’t want to pay you, you can take them to court. Unpaid wage complaints can be filed to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
The DoL may be able to help you recover the unpaid wages. However, when this is not possible directly, you may be given another direction by a representative.
When you’re making the report, you should provide information regarding your job title, salary, and hours, as well as different other details available on your pay stubs.
Another thing you can do is pursue the case at the state level together with the state labor resources, or you can begin a private lawsuit instead.
The state labor department can help people when they have not received the wages they deserve. The good news is that you do not need to pay anything to report the incident here. It’s all free.
What’s even better is that if you are successful, you may be able to recover statutory penalties.
4. Hire an Unpaid Wages Lawyer
As much as you would like to handle everything yourself and make your employer pay – literally – you need some help. Not everyone knows the laws, and your employer is very likely to have a legal team that will try to get him or her out of trouble.
So, it’s time to look for an unpaid wages lawyer. This legal expert will advise you on what to do and what to avoid and will make sure you get justice. Furthermore, he/she will make sure you file the claim on time.
Each state has a certain statute of limitations for unpaid wages. For example, in California, the statute of limitations is three years. So, make sure to hire a Lancaster unpaid wages lawyer and you’ll be right on time with gathering your documents and starting the lawsuit.
Not getting the salary you are entitled to can be frustrating. Fortunately, you can report this and work to get your money back. Before you go to court, you should have an unpaid wage attorney helping you out for the best outcome.