Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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Get help if your employer isn't paying what you're owed

You work hard when you're on the job. You make sure you get your work done on time and have always been good about helping others get their work done as well. You've stayed late to support the company, but you noticed that your hours never seemed to add up.

For example, one week you know that you worked over 50 hours, but your employer has you at 40 even. Another week, you were sure you worked 45, but again, you had only 40. When you confronted your employer about the missing hours, they told you that your overtime wasn't approved, so they capped your hours at 40.

Yes, they essentially acted as if you were volunteering your time (which was not the case at all).

What do you do now?

When you find out that your paycheck is incorrect, the first thing you should do is make copies of all relevent information, such as a handwritten log, your employer's explanation and your pay stub.

Since you're aware, in this case, that your employer knew they were capping your hours, you should ask them to pay you for your hours worked. You can state that you will be filing a complaint if they do not. If your employer retaliates against you for doing so, then you may have a claim against their illegal retaliation as well.

In most states, there are laws that require employers to pay you for any hours worked, even if they did not directly approve those hours. Since you worked overtime, you need to be paid at least one and one-half times your regular pay for each hour worked over 40.

What happens if your employer refuses to pay or lies about what they owe you?

In cases where your employer directly refuses to pay, it's smart to talk to your attorney as soon as you can. It is against the law for your employer to refuse to pay you for the hours you worked. You may want to look through your initial work contract as well as any other documents you have to make sure your employer owes you what you believe they do, but if they are contractually obligated to pay and you've been working for them, then there is no reason for them to avoid that responsibility. Your attorney can help you make a claim against them if they won't pay you appropriately.

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