Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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What can you do about unpaid wages?

If there is anything that should upset you, it's the idea that you'd go to work and do your time only to go without appropriate pay. If it happens once, it might be an oversight, but if you're missing compensation over and over again, the reality is that you're probably dealing with wage theft.

Wage theft is a real problem. It happens when employers don't pay their employees their rightful wages. Generally, employers who are caught paying less than they should are ordered to provide back pay. Back pay includes the total amount of missing money that the employee was entitled to.

If you're concerned about back pay not being paid to you appropriately, you should be happy to know that the Federal Labor and Standards Act is there to protect you. It states that the Wage and Hour Division can supervise the payment of any back wages owed. As an employee, you're entitled to file a lawsuit and seek your back pay and an amount equal to those back wages as liquidated damages. The Secretary of Labor is able to file a lawsuit for back wages doubled to include liquidated damages as well. You may also ask to receive court costs and attorney fees.The FLSA allows the Secretary of Labor to obtain an injunction, which would further restrain any employer from violating the federal standards.

How long do you have to file a claim to recover back wages?

Normally, there is a two-year statute of limitations. However, if the violation was willful, that extends to three years. You should speak with your attorney directly if you're filing a claim, so they can tell you what to expect and how long you have to file a claim based on your specific situation.

How can you check for missing wages?

To check for missing wages, you should always keep records on how long you worked, when you clocked in and out, and discrepancies you've noticed. The first time you notice a discrepancy, it's a good idea to talk to your employer. There may have been an oversight or mistake made that they are willing to correct during the next pay period, or there may be a misunderstanding about the pay schedule. If you find missing wages are occurring often, it's a better idea to reach out to your attorney and to start looking into your options to make your employer pay you what you're owed.

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