Unpaid wages can result from unpaid overtime, employee misclassification and reduction of benefits. Fortunately, both federal and state regulations work together to protect employees from unfair treatment. Whether your employer has intentionally or accidentally withheld funds, you may be entitled to back pay. Recovering unpaid wages can be a stressful process, especially if you are still employed by the offending company. When you’re unsure where to turn or how to proceed, an unpaid wages lawyer can help explain your rights and fight for you in a court of law.
From forced “off the clock” work to missed meal breaks, there are a myriad of scenarios that can lead to unpaid wages. California state law mandates a minimum wage which is higher than the federal minimum, and some large cities such as Los Angeles, have their own minimums. Employers must honor the highest minimum requirement to be in compliance with all laws. One form of unpaid wages is a refusal to pay the highest applicable minimum.
When evaluating a potential claim, you’ll need to determine whether you’ve been denied overtime, wages, or break periods. You may also have a claim if your employer improperly deducted from your pay or your tips. Lastly, you may be owed back pay if you were improperly classified as an independent contractor or as an exempt employee.
Every circumstance is different, but there is one thing that all unpaid wage cases have in common. This unifying thread is that the employers’ actions were unjust. Many victims may be hesitant to come forward because they do not believe their experiences truly constitute unpaid wages. A missed lunch break here and there can be tempting to shrug off, rather than risk retaliation by filing a complaint. In order to make a determination on whether you were underpaid, it is best to speak with an unpaid wages lawyer. They will evaluate your distinct circumstances and advise you on how to proceed.
Before filing a lawsuit, you may wish to file a complaint with the appropriate governing bodies. In this case, you would likely need to contact The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Do not hesitate to contact an unpaid wages lawyer prior to filing a complaint. This is particularly beneficial if you are likely to face retaliation for your actions.
For many people, the path to recovery involves bringing a case before a judge. By pursuing a court case, victims can hold the perpetrators of wrongdoing responsible for their actions. They can also collect all benefits and compensation due.
When selecting an unpaid wages lawyer, you should search for one who can become your partner throughout the litigation process. An unpaid wages lawyer needs full access to all the relevant details of your case, and you’ll want to find trustworthy counsel who will advocate for your rights.
Every unpaid wages case is unique, and every unpaid wages lawyer has a different case management style. Although we can’t promise a quick fix, we’ll stay in constant contact as your case progresses and work to manage your expectations at every stage of the process. Whenever you have questions, you’ll be able to reach your lawyers for a quick response. Your best interests are our highest priority, whether that means accepting a settlement or proceeding to trial. When you need dedicated, determined, and honest legal representation, contact Blackstone Law.
The foundation of our practice is a genuine compassion for our clients. As unpaid wage lawyers, we constantly strive to uphold the rights of the individuals we represent.
If you’d like to learn more about unpaid wages, consider reviewing our guide to California Employment Law. In this guide, we delve into more detail about your rights as an employee, as well as the legal obligations of your employer.