There are many rules and regulations on how and when employers are required to pay their employees. These rules were set down by the Fair Standards Labor Act, and under that act, employees are legally allowed to file claims against their employers if wages are ever withheld. However, filing this claim is easier said than done, and ensuring that you get the money you are owed will require dedicated and skilled attorneys.
We at The Lenahan Law Firm have the expertise to help you get your wages. The first step to ensuring you will get paid fairly is speaking to one of our incredible attorneys. We offer free evaluations, and we do not require payment until you yourself are paid. To start your wage claim, call our office at (214) 295-1008 today.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was first passed in 1938. At that point there was no federal minimum wage, nor were there any limitations on how long employees could work. At this time, many workers were incredibly underpaid and forced to work long hours, sometimes 12-hour plus shifts, with few days off in between. Considering the impact of the Great Depression, it was clear that something had to be done to relieve workers and help stimulate the economy, thus, FLSA was passed.
Upon its passage, the minimum wage was set at $.25 per hour, and the 40-hour work week/8-hour workday was established. Since then, the FLSA has gone through many iterations, with multiple amendments added to the original document. FLSA now governs how workers should be paid for overtime; keeps certain groups, such as women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community, from being paid less than they deserve; and even limits what jobs can be worked by age of the employee. If your employer at any point violated these rules, then you may be able to file a FLSA wage claim.
The point of the FLSA is to ensure that workers in America receive the pay that they are legally entitled to. This means they must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25, although some states have a higher minimum wage to be paid for all hours worked. The federal minimum includes a rate hike of 1.5 the regular wage when a worker is doing overtime. If your employer does not follow the FLSA guidelines, that means you have likely been paid less than you are owed. This is when you should file a FLSA wage claim.
The wage claim is a claim against your employer through the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor. You are, essentially, informing the WHD that you did not receive the wages you were legally owed under FLSA and that your employer owes you money as a result.
Employers often try to take advantage of employees, especially those that they assume will not file a wage claim. It isn’t uncommon for employers to leave hours unpaid, or to underreport hours in order to avoid paying employees extra for overtime. By not filing a FLSA wage claim against employers who use these underhanded tactics, you allow yourself to be stolen from.
Few people are aware that filing a wage claim with the WHD is an option when they are shorted by employers. Thankfully, the WHD is available to provide information on how to file a claim properly. To speak with someone with the WHD, you can visit their website, or you can call and speak to a representative at 1-866-487-9243. For a quick rundown, however, the information you will need in order to file a claim includes:
- Your name
- Your address and phone number
- The name of the company that you work(ed) for
- The location of the company
- The company’s phone number
- The name of the manager or owner
- The work performed
- How/when you were paid
However, filing a claim with the WHD will also require a certain amount of evidence. The WHD will need proof that you were underpaid to rule in your favor. Key evidence will include past pay stubs, records of the hours you worked (both personal and what was recorded by your employer), and any other documents that show your employer’s payment history. Gathering this evidence, especially if your employer has already proven to be untrustworthy, can be difficult.
If you want a successful claim, then you need to work with an attorney who can help you gather as much evidence as possible. There is never a guarantee that the WHD will rule in your favor. Working hard to investigate and gather proof will only help your case.
If your employer has neglected to pay you the funds that you are owed, then you are well within your rights to demand proper compensation through a FLSA wage claim. However, the process requires proper documentation and evidence. To ensure that you get the wages that you are owed, you should work with an experienced lawyer who can fight on your behalf. We at The Lenahan Law Firm are equipped to help you get your wages back. To speak with us, call (214) 295-1008, or contact us online, today.