Love your job or not, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as receiving your paycheck. After all, you not only depend on it to live, but it’s also the tangible result of all your weeks and months of hard work.
However, have you ever received your paycheck only to realize that it’s not quite what you expected?
Maybe you worked overtime and didn’t see a difference in income. Or, maybe your tips and wage didn’t equate to the legal minimum wage. Finally, maybe you’ve come to realize that you get paid a lot less than promised.
Whatever the case might be, there are times when your employer may have made a mistake and times when they just might be breaking wage laws.
If the latter is true, it can be difficult to know just what to do. So, if you find yourself in a position where your employer is paying you illegally, here are three steps you must take.
1. Do Your Homework
Before taking any further steps, your first and foremost one should be to gather all your facts and do your homework. While it might be tempting after one instance to bring the issue forward, be sure you’ve documented multiple instances to prove your case.
Moreover, carefully research and inform yourself on every aspect of wage and employment laws so that you know for sure whether or not your employer has broken a law before getting into any legal hassle.
2. File a Report
Upon confirming that a law has been broken, your next step is to file an official complaint or report. You can do so in person or by mail at an office in your state for the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
Furthermore, you’ll need to collect all the necessary information before doing so. After which, an investigation will likely take place to either validate or dismiss your claims.
3. Address It As Soon As Possible
It’s important to file your complaint as soon as possible, as like many laws, there is a statute of limitations. In most cases, your limitation is around two years, which means if you hope to collect any sort of back wages, you’ll want to put your complaint in as soon as possible.
4. Hire a Lawyer
Sometimes understanding your rights, the law and knowing whether or not it’s actually been broken can be confusing and difficult. Ergo, if you’re unsure about your situation and what steps to take next it might be a good idea to speak with a lawyer in order to fully understand your correct path.
Unfortunately, it’s not always clear when a law has been broken, especially when it comes to your wages. While laws do exist to protect you, it’s not always easy to decipher them.
Nonetheless, you’re no doubt aware when something with your wages or paycheck doesn’t seem right. And if that’s the case for you, be sure to investigate thoroughly and take the proper steps to righting the situation.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a broken wage law? How did you address the situation?