Compensation refers to the total cash and non-cash payments given by employers to their employees in exchange for their work. Numerous local, state, and federal tax and employment laws govern the compensation given to employees. On a federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, child labor standards, and record-keeping in both the private and government sectors.
Compensation goes beyond an employee’s regular wages and encompasses the following:
- Base pay
- Sales commission
- Tip income
- Overtime pay
- Merit pay
- Benefits (ex: insurance, retirement, accrued vacation time)
- Stock options
- Other non-cash benefits
If your employer fails to grant you all of the compensation that is due to you, then you can file an unpaid wages claim with the help of a reputable wage and hour lawyer. As it can be difficult to determine the validity or extent of your claims, your lawyer can help you determine if your employer’s conduct has violated any state or federal tax and employment laws.
Examples of Unpaid Wages
Your employer is obligated to pay you whatever you’ve both agreed on as compensation for your work. The only exception is if the compensation is less than the minimum wage provided for by law. In other words, you cannot agree to be paid less than the minimum wage, otherwise, said agreement is not binding because it goes against the law and public policy.
There are other acts that constitute non-payment or underpayment of wages. These include:
- Your employer failing to pay you your correct wage by mistake.
- Your employer intentionally withholding your correct wage.
- Your employer making unauthorized or illegal deductions from your wages.
- Your employer failing to pay you your correct wage on time.
- Your employer failing to settle your final pay upon your termination or resignation.
How to File an Unpaid Wages Claim Against Your Employer
You can file an unpaid wages lawsuit against your employer by either heading to the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which may pursue a claim on your behalf, or by filing your own lawsuit in court. If you’re opting for the latter, you may need to hire an unpaid wages lawyer.
Take note that there are strict deadlines for filing unpaid wages claims. To avoid exceeding the statute of limitations, don’t delay in contacting the WHD to file a claim. Generally, a two-year statute of limitations applies to the recovery of back wages. However, in the case of deliberate violations, a three-year statute of limitations applies.
In California, you can file an unpaid wages claim via the state’s Department of Industrial Relations.
Reclaim Unpaid Wages With the Help of an Expert Unpaid Wages Lawyer
Every employee in California is entitled to receive just compensation in exchange for their hard work. But if your employer is withholding your wages and other forms of compensation, then you’ll need to sort the issue out with the help of an unpaid wages attorney.
Mesriani Law Group’s highly experienced and dedicated attorneys have won numerous successful cases on behalf of their clients. They’ll work hard to ensure that you receive the correct compensation from your erring employer.