You work hard for your money. That is why you may be frustrated when you are not paid the money you are owed. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take if your current or former boss owes you money. Before you attempt to recover your missing wages, you will need to find out exactly how much you are owed. Your employer should send you a letter that details your hourly wage or salary. If your pay rate has changed, then you will need to get a contract documenting that change. You will also need to get a copy of paystubs.
Gather the Supporting Documents
You will have to prove that you have been underpaid. Pay stubs, time cards, bank statements, letters about your pay and your employment contract. The more evidence provide, the more likely you are to get the wages you deserve.
Review the Federal Laws
The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. A state is not allowed to set a minimum wage that is less than the federal minimum. Federal law also requires that employees who work more than 40 hours per week be paid time and a half. This means that if you normally make $10 per hour, and you work more than 40 hours per week, then you need to be paid $15 per hour.
Do the Math
You may need to do your own calculations in order to find out exactly how much you are owed. You will need to subtract the amount that you were paid from the amount that you made. This is the amount that you were paid.
For example, you made $500 in a week. You were paid $350. Your employer still owes you $150.
Speak to Your Employer
It is best for you to talk with your employer before you attempt to take legal action. In some cases, people are underpaid due to an accounting error. You may also be underpaid because your hours were not accurately reported. Send a letter or call your employer in order to set up an appointment.
It is important to remember that mistakes do happen. That is why you should try to not to have an argumentative tone when you are speaking with your employer.
File a Complaint With the Department of Labor
If you talk to your employer, and you still are not able to get your funds, then you will be able to file a complaint with the Department of Labor. It is confidential and free to file a complaint with the Department of Labor. You can call the DOL or go by the office in your area.
There are several things that you will have to provide the Department of Labor with. This includes your contact information, employer's name, employer's contact information, how often you are paid and paystubs. You will also need to let the Department of Labor know whether you are paid with a paper check or direct deposit.
File a Complaint With the State's Labor Office
If your employer violated the wage laws in your state, then you may need to contact the state's labor office. You can get the forms that you need from the agency's office.
Wait for the Investigation to be Completed
Your claim will be investigated by the federal or state agency. The investigation will begin when the agency mails the forms to your employer. The investigator may make a preliminary decision. The decision will become final once the investigation is completed. The investigation will become final unless your employer tries to appeal it.
Participate in a Settlement
The agency may invite you to discuss a settlement with the employer. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a possible settlement with the employer. Make sure that you bring all of the documents to the meeting.
Attend a Hearing
If your employer will not settle with you, then you may have to take the case to court. However, some states conduct over-the-phone hearings. If you have to go to court, then you will need to bring your paystubs, letters, emails and anything else that provides information about your unpaid wages. You may want to put them in a binder.
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