You'll need the assistance of a lawyer to determine if your salary claim is worth pursuing.
Wages are paid in accordance with federal and state rules and regulations. Each of these sets of principles is complex, and the interplay between them is much more so. In addition to payment of wages due, you may be entitled to fines and, in some areas, attorney's fees if your employer has not paid you completely for your labor. In some cases, an employer's refusal to pay wages may provide you grounds to pursue additional claims, such as unfair competition charges (in California, for example).
You may have a claim for unpaid wages if your employer has failed to pay you:
These aren't, however, black-and-white statements. If you work for tips or commissions, for example, even a minimum wage claim might be difficult. Furthermore, not all travel time must be reimbursed. You can determine if your employer's actions are in violation of state or federal law with the help of a lawyer.
What Can a Lawyer Do?
An employment lawyer can offer you with choices for contesting an employer's illegal activity and explore if you have a case worth pursuing in addition to determining whether your employer has broken a federal or state law.
Discuss Your Options
An employee can frequently sue their company if they break wage and hour laws. However, in many cases, the employee may have alternative choices. In some jurisdictions, for example, you can submit a claim for unpaid wages against your employer with the state labor department, which will hold a hearing and make a decision. This is a less expensive and faster option than filing a lawsuit, but it may have drawbacks that a lawyer may point out (such as foreclosing the option of a lawsuit or limiting the damages you can recover).
Another alternative is to make an informal contact with the employer to try to reach an agreement on your pay claim. An employment lawyer can help you weigh your alternatives so that you can make an educated decision.
An employment lawyer can also estimate your chances of succeeding in any of the aforementioned choices, as well as the costs associated with each. You and your lawyer will talk about how much money you may get in damages and how much money you'd have to spend in legal costs to pursue those damages.
When most people consider taking legal action, the cost of hiring a lawyer is a major consideration. Request a pricing estimate from the lawyer for each option. Also, inquire about the lawyer's fee arrangements. Will the lawyer, for example, take a case on a contingency (recovery percentage) fee basis? If they desire an hourly charge, will the lawyer agree to a restricted services retainer (for example, simply advice through the state agency claim filing procedure)? You may incorporate the expense of pursuing your underpaid wage claim in your total analysis by reviewing all of the fee arrangements available.
You may be responsible for costs associated with a lawsuit or other legal action in addition to attorney's fees. Filing expenses, deposition fees, expert witness fees, and so on are examples of these expenditures. Also, request that the lawyer provide you with a breakdown of these fees.
Consult an Employment Lawyer
Sitting down with an attorney and getting a comprehensive evaluation of your possible legal claims, the avenues of recovery, the damages you can recover, and the fees and charges you'll pay to pursue a claim is well worth the time and money. Only after doing this thorough investigation can you determine whether you want to engage a lawyer to take your employer to court. Keep in mind that your employer will very probably have legal representation; you should, too.
Yoel Molina, Esq. (AKA “Mo”)
Feel free to join our WhatsApp group if you want to know more aboutt his and more!
Yoel “Mo” Molina, I am a lifelong resident of Miami, Fl. I am a graduate of Miami Senior High, Class of 1992, Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S. 1997 and University of Maine School of Law, J.D. 2001. I have been practicing law in Miami Since 2001. I am a former training prosecutor in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. I have experience in jury trials, appeals, and administrative hearings. I have appeared before judges across the State. My experience ranges from civil litigation matters, collection matters, foreclosure, business and corporate, contracts, real estate, leases and employment matters..
"Mr. Molina has always been there for us with timely, reliable and competent advice. He is an important and valuable part of our team." Corporate Client Eric Delgado, President of American International Export, Inc., a worldwide importer and exporter of brand name appliance parts.
"Yoel has been responsive and attentive to our company’s best interests and needs. He has been a valuable resource to our company. Any company that enlists his services would be in good hands-- including our own clients.” Corporate Client Gibran Flynn - Co-Owner and Founder of Eleva Solutions, Inc., the South Florida leader of outsourced HR, Staffing, Training, and Loss Prevention.
"My name is Anastasia Yecke Gude and I am the owner of Healing Hands Therapeutic Massage LLC. In the process of my company’s growth and expansion, I suddenly found myself a few weeks ago in need of a 1099 contractor agreement, and I needed it ASAP. As in, the very next day! I contacted the Law Office of Yoel Molina and his assistant put me in touch with Mo. I sent him what I had drafted up and he replied within a few hours with suggested revisions and clarifications, as well as a few insights I had not even considered. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of work he provided, especially considering the time crunch I put him in (sorry, Mo!). I definitely recommend his services to anyone in need of a good contract attorney, and I will be calling him again for future work…hopefully in less of a rush next time!"