At Marder Employment Law, we know firsthand that employers are not above
cheating their employees out of thousands of dollars. From denying employees
their overtime pay to failing to pay at least minimum wage, there are
a number of situations that can be manipulated by employers to keep their
workers from being paid the wages they are entitled to. In this blog,
we answer one of the most common questions we are asked by clients: Can
I sue my employer for
What Is Considered an Unpaid Wage?
Whenever an employee is not paid for the work or services they have performed
for their employer, they have a right to file a lawsuit for damages. Sometimes
called withheld salary, or withheld wages, unpaid wages can happen because of:
- A clerical or administrative oversight
- Disputes regarding overtime, paid leave, or other types of benefits
An employee files for
How to File a Claim for Unpaid Wages
Filing a complaint for wages that are owed to you usually involves the
- Making a formal complaint with your company’s human resources department
- Making a compliant with the EEOC, especially in discrimination cases
- Initiating a civil lawsuit if other avenues don’t produce justice
When it comes to simple oversight, a compliant to HR will usually be enough
to have the error corrected and your unpaid wage reimbursed. In other
situations though, HR might not take the necessary action to remedy the
mistake, in which case you will need to file a lawsuit against your employer.
When the employer has demonstrated a pattern of not paying employees the
wages they are due, then a class action lawsuit might be needed to obtain
What Happens If My Claim Is Successful?
Keeping an employee’s salary is illegal and can result in severe
legal consequences. These consequences include:
- An award for damages that forces the employer to pay for lost wages and
other expenses incurred by the defendant
- Mandated changes to the company’s policies
- Termination of the party responsible for the unpaid wages
- Suspension of business license, civil fines, and other consequences
Do I Need an Attorney to File My Claim?
When an employee’s wages are withheld from them, it can create serious
problems for both the worker and the company employing them. If you want
to ensure that your rights are protected and your case is handled properly,
then you need the assistance of a skilled legal professional. An employment
law attorney can provide you with advice regarding how to secure payment
for the wages your employer owes you.
If you have an employment related dispute, the legal team at Marder Employment
Law can help you. Our Hollister attorney has more than two decades of
experience helping workers in Northern California. Call (888) 796-4010
to set up your free consultation today.