Tag Archive for Career

3 Steps to Take If Your Employer is Breaking Wage Laws

3 Steps to Take If Your Employer is Breaking Wage Laws

3 Steps to Take If Your Employer is Breaking Wage LawsLove 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?

Quit too Soon? How to Get Your Old Job Back

Quit too Soon? How to Get Your Old Job Back

Quit too Soon? How to Get Your Old Job BackYou?ve been working at your job for a while. Then it happens, you just can?t stand it any longer. You?ve come to the point where you march into the boss?s office and announce you are giving your two weeks!

You march out and head home for the day. When you cool down you realize that you didn?t really want to quit and need your job back.

Or what if you started a new job and realized what you had left was a better fit?

What do you do? You can try to get your old job back.

Here are some tips on how to accomplish this.

Don?t Burn Bridges When You Leave

This is a no-brainer, but if you can leave things on good terms, you’ll have a better chance to get your old job back.

Telling everyone off who made you frustrated will not help in the long run. If you left for an opportunity you couldn?t pass up, be sure to stay in touch with people at your previous employer.

Letting them know you are interested in their well-being will help should you want to get your old job back.

Be Open to Other Options

You may not be able to get your old job back if it’s already been filled. So, be open to staying with the company but working in another position. This might open new doors that you hadn?t imagined before and lead to new opportunities.

Be Sure Your Old Job is Still a Good Fit

Just because the grass wasn?t greener on the other side, doesn?t mean that your old job is still a good fit.

Make a list of everything you did at your old job and everything you currently do or what you want to do. If it?s been awhile since you held that position, see how the position has changed.

When you tally it up, you may find it’s not a good idea to get your old job back after all.

Be Prepared to Stay for a While

If you left and then wanted to come back in a short period of time, be sure that you are willing to stay for a while once you get your old job back. Job hopping too often will not be good for your relationship with the company. If you aren?t willing to stay for a longer period of time, then it?s probably not good for you to come back at all.

Give Your Manager a Heads Up

The actual ask – ?can I come back? – is better done in person. But, sending an email stating your proposition will give them time to think about it.

Follow up with them in a timely manner and ask to set up a meeting. Calling out of the blue and begging to come back will not help you.

You want them to genuinely consider taking you back, so give them their space to prepare.

If you are going to go down the path to get your old job back, be sure that your homework is done. Have solid answers for why you left and why they should take you back (especially if it has been under a year since you left). Be prepared if they say no and graciously accept that. It is possible to get your old job back. But, it all depends on how your relationship was with the company when you left, and when you ask to come back.


Have you ever asked for your old job back? Why? Did you get it back?


Photo courtesy of: markusspiske


How to Ask for a Raise at Work (and Get it!)

How to Ask for a Raise at Work (and Get it!)

How to Ask for a Raise at Work (and Get it!)You work hard. You?ve been nailing it.

Clients love you and you?ve brought in some great new accounts.

You were just handed some new responsibility.

You are going places.

The one obstacle in your way is that you don?t feel you are being compensated correctly for your current responsibilities at work. You want a raise.

So, how do you go about getting one? Depending on the company, raises may happen annually or they might be few and far between.

That’s why it’s important to take matters into your own hands when you feel that you deserve a raise.

Here are a few steps on how to ask for a raise and get it.

Be Prepared

Do your homework before you even think about going to your boss about a raise. You need to be prepared to present your case and answer questions.

Know Your Timing

The first thing you need to know is timing.

Is the company performing well or is it starting to shrink staff? Does your company give raises around performance reviews? If so you need to approach your boss a few months before to start conversation.

Raises are usually already determined by the time your review is held.

Keep Track of Accomplishments

Write down all the tasks you have accomplished, goals you’ve met and responsibilities you’ve tackled above and beyond what was required. Keep track of any stats and have specific figures.

For example, instead of saying you increased web traffic to clients? sites, say that you increased web traffic by 10% through x, y, z that increased client?s gains at x amount. The more information you have the better your case when you ask for a raise.

Find Out What Others Earn

Know what your industry is making salary-wise and in your geographic area. If your boss won?t go for your initial request, you can come back with that information.

Don’t present it in a hostile manner. Simply say, “Professionals in my field are making x and I?m at y, which is lower than the industry average.”

Knowing these numbers will help you provide a reasonable raise amount that would be within your employer?s capability.

Once you have your homework done and you feel you have a strong argument to get you that raise, you need to have that conversation.

Set Up a Meeting

This is obvious, but make sure you are upfront with the meeting topic. Also make sure your timing is still ideal. Letting your manager know up-front what your meeting is about will help them get in the right mindset and not be blindsided.

Present Your Case

You?ve done your homework and have the meeting set, now you need to practice your pitch. It sounds silly but the more confident you are about your case, the better you?ll come across.

Be sure to not get too emotional and give your valid reasons for the raise, not that you need more money to save for a vacation.

Have a Plan B

You might have nailed your pitch and feel super confident. But, there is always a chance your employer will say no.

If that?s the case, ask where you can improve. Ask what more can you do or extra responsibilities you can take on to show your value.

?No? is not the end of the conversation, it might be a ?not yet?. The company may not be able to provide a financial raise but they may give you extra vacation, more paid leave, and the potential to work from home. Have an alternative in mind.

Asking for a raise can be scary. Doing your research and have an open conversation with your boss usually leads to a better situation. Read the room and the economy. You might not get the raise the first time. But, by showing your worth and the value you bring to the company, that second ask may be more fruitful than the first.


Have you ever asked for a raise? Were you successful?


Photo courtesy of: StockSnap

4 Ways Being Overworked Can Kill Your Productivity

4 Ways Being Overworked Can Kill Your Productivity

4 Ways Being Overworked Can Kill Your ProductivityThere are all types of employees in the workforce. Some love what they do, some like what they do, some work to live and others live to work.

You have worker bees who scurry to get everything done for the queen (or king) bees, and grasshoppers who pretend to work, while the ant continues strong every day.

You may relate to any of the above scenarios, no matter which of these fits you, the truth is, anyone can become overworked.?Hard work is great, but everyone needs to recharge their batteries at some point.

Here are four ways being overworked can kill your productivity.

You Feel Too Stressed

When one is?overworked, it’s easy to stress out about everything and wonder if anything is getting done at all. Plus, stress does weird things to the human body. For instance, stress can make you sick. The more times you are sick and away from the office, the more times you are not being productive.?The better choice is to take time off now and then to re-charge.

You Feel Resentment

Working too much, especially if you don’t enjoy your job, can start to build up resentment. This resentment can be toward the company, the manager and even other employees. Resentful employees don?t work at their best, and thus, are not as productive.

You’re Afraid of Taking a Vacation

The stats are staggering when it comes to how many employees don?t take some, or any, of their vacation time in the United States. Americans have a strong work ethic, but it can often?be carried too far.

When surveyed, these employees said they felt that their office couldn?t go on without them there, or they were afraid they would be reprimanded for taking time off.

But, if you don?t take the time to get away from the office, your productivity will go down. On the other hand, if?you do take a vacation, you may not really relax because you are still worried about the office. So, it can become a catch-22.

You’re Working for that Performance Bonus

You might think that being overworked would be good for your evaluations and that it shows you are a good worker. You think it might help you get a raise. But, that?s not necessarily the case. Too heavy of a workload can have you missing deadlines, giving subpar client support and lowering your productivity. Thus, being overworked is usually reflected poorly on your evaluations.

There are some times where everyone has to work an extra shift or take on a couple of projects in a pinch. But, you shouldn?t ever feel like you?won?t see the light of day because of work.

Try talking to your manager, or see how you can better manage your time. If you’re the manager, your job is to make sure you aren?t overworking your staff.


Have you ever felt overworked? How did it affect your productivity? How did you overcome this problem?


Photo courtesy of: slon_dot_pics

4 Considerations for Re-entering the Workforce After Retirement

hands-545394_640Entering the job force at any age can be daunting. Strong competition with a still recovering economy leads to a harder time getting employed especially if you are brand new to the workforce or are returning after retirement.

With more Americans having less saved up for retirement more retirees are returning to the job force or working longer. If you are planning on returning to the workforce after retirement, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Working Longer Means a Greater Payout

Working longer and putting off collecting social security can result in a greater payout past the age of retirement (65-67). By not collecting social security sooner, you receive more of your social security benefits when you do vs. collecting them while working.

In 2015, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $2 you earn over the annual earnings limit of $15,720. A higher earnings limit applies in the year you reach full retirement age. If you earn more than this limit ($41,880 in 2015), $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 you earn over that amount, until the month you reach full retirement age, according to 360FinancialLiteracy.org.

Once you quit working, your social security benefits should go back to their full amount.

2. Opportunity For a Career Change

Many retirees who return to the workforce take this opportunity to change careers or industry, or create their own business. Though when doing this, be sure that you have the right financing to start a business and live off of your savings while your business grows. It could take a while to start making a profit, especially if you are hoping to build a passive income.

3. Retirement Plans from Previous Employers

If you have a pension plan from a previous employer and you go to work for a different company, you shouldn’t run into any problems. If you take a different, lower position with the same company after your retirement, there could be issues. Some pension benefit plans have clauses that the benefit will be suspended should you retire and then come back to work. Before jumping back into working after retirement, check with your HR department to make sure there won?t be any issues.

4. Potential for a Higher Tax Bracket

If you are collecting payments on retirement funds, pension and getting a paycheck, it could bump you into a higher tax bracket. Even getting a job that pays more than what you were getting from your retirement funds could bump you up. Though social security and pension aren?t taxed, you could still be surprised with what you do owe for income tax. Be sure to calculate how much you might owe if you would end up in?a higher tax bracket. This may help you decide if it’s worth it to go back to work or what job to take after retirement.

Jumping into a new position or career after retirement is entirely possible! People do it all the time with great success. As with any new venture, make sure your current finances are in order and consider how this change could affect your finances too. If you have questions especially about retirement benefits, health insurance?or?social security go talk to HR or another professional to make sure you aren?t missing anything. Polish that resume and buy that new suit, you?ve got this!

Do you know anyone that went back to work after retiring? Did you? What are some ways you prepared to go back to work after retiring?


Photo courtesy of: stevepb