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What if my employer does not pay me for my work?

When an employer does not treat employees fairly, it can seem unfair and hopeless all at the same time. This is particularly true when an employer refuses or fails to pay you fairly for your work. Fortunately, there are legal remedies when an employer does not compensate an employee. If you believe that your employer is not paying you fairly, you can take some simple steps to begin working towards a fair resolution.

The first thing you can do is file an official complaint with the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD). WHD conducts investigations into violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Your complaint is confidential, unless it is necessary to disclose some portions of the complaint in the course of bringing allegations against your employer. Not all complaints result in investigations, but many do.

If the WHD looks into your claim, it may make rulings about whether your employer violated proper payment procedures. If so, the WHD will order the employer to pay you back wages and even other possible damages.

Whether or not your complaint results a WHD investigation into your claims, you may benefit from seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney. The attorney can help you examine the specifics of your case and identify any particularly strong grounds for a lawsuit.

If your employer owes you back pay, you should not have to simply accept it and move on. An experienced attorney can help you understand the full scope of your situation so that you know what to expect as a remedy and how long the process may take. Be sure that you have all the help you need to keep your rights secure as you pursue a fair remedy to your nonpayment dilemma.

Source: Findlaw, "How to Report Unpaid Wages and Recover Back Pay," accessed Sep. 28, 2017

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