As a general rule, you perform work for your employer and you get paid for it. However, there are some instances when your employer does not pay you for the work that you have performed. If this has happened to you, what do you do? You have several options at your disposal, depending on how you want to handle the situation.
You Can Quit Your Job
Obviously, your first option is to quit. After all, why would you want to work for someone that can't or won't pay you? You may love your job, but that passion for your job isn't going to pay your student loan, your electricity, or your mortgage payment. You can quit your non-paying job and go find a job with an employer that will pay their employees.
You Can Talk to Your Employer
If you can't stand the idea of leaving your job – at least not yet -- then sit down with your employer and talk things through. During your conversation, make sure to find out what the financial problem is and when, or if, you can expect to be paid. If your boss is unable to provide you with answers, go to his or her boss. Continue up the ladder until you get the answers that you need. These conversations won't come easy, and they will be uncomfortable, but they are 100 percent necessary. The worst-case scenario is that they are going to fire you, and you aren't getting paid at the moment anyway.
You Can Fight For What Is Rightfully Yours
If you aren't keen on either of the above two options, you have already tried to talk it out with your employer and things didn't go well, or you have quit your job, then you may want to consider fighting for the money that you are rightfully owed (your back pay). This would consist of filing an official complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. Generally, these complaints are completely confidential unless they need to release your identity during the pursuit of your claim, but they do need your permission to do so.
If you are interested in filing a complaint, you may not want to do this on your own, to ensure that you go about it the right way. Alternatively, you may want to consider your options for a private lawsuit against your employer -- in this case, you will want to speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible. You can contact law firms like John H. Haskin & Associates, LLC for more information.