As an employee, you have certain rights when it comes to receiving pay. If your employer violates your rights, you can take legal action. If you believe that your rights are being violated, here is what you need to know.
What Rights Do You Have?
One of the most important rights you have is to receive at least minimum wage from your employer. Nationally, the minimum wage rate is $7.25 as of December 2016. However, some states and cities have raised their minimum wage requirements.
There are some exceptions to the minimum wage requirement though. For instance, if you also receive tips, the minimum wage required is $2.13 an hour. If you receive tips that does not equal the national minimum wage, your employer has to pay you the difference.
Another right you have is to be compensated for overtime. Your employer also has to provide your final paycheck within a certain period. The amount of time varies by state.
What If Your Employer Violates Your Rights?
If your employer has violated your rights, you need to file a complaint with your employer's human resources department. Provide an accounting of what you feel you are owed with your complaint. If you have previously discussed the issue with your supervisor or any other manager, be sure to include his or her name in your complaint.
In the event that you still are not compensated fairly, you can file an administrative complaint with the Department of Labor, or DOL. To start the complaint, you need to contact your local office and request a complaint form.
To complete the form, you need to provide information, such as your employer's contact information, the work you do, and what you are expecting to be paid. You also need to detail what steps you have taken to work with your employer to correct the issue.
After the investigation is complete, the DOL will decide if you are owed wages. If you are, the DOL can negotiate a payment plan that would allow you to receive the wages owed or help you file a lawsuit.
Can You Sue?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the DOL's investigation, you can file a lawsuit against your employer. If there are others who have experienced the same issue with your employer, it might be possible to file a class action lawsuit.
To fully assess your options, consult with an employment lawyer in your area. He or she will know the state's laws and how they apply to your case and help determine if actions, such as a class action lawsuit, are possible.
For an employment attorney, contact a lawyer such as Timothy P O'Brien.