Whether you agree or not, most employees work for money. They use their energy and skills in order to earn a living for their families and for themselves. But what if their employer refuses to pay them for their work? What can they do?

Under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), employers have the responsibility to provide their employees the necessary payments they deserve. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is a government agency under the U.S. Department of Labor that is in charge of enforcing the FLSA.

You can file an unpaid wage claim against your employer if:

  • You were not paid for all your work hours. In this situation, keep a record of all your hours worked. You can use this record to compute how much your employer owes you.
  • The paycheck that your employer gave you bounced. Report the incident to your employer right away. If the situation was not caused by an accounting or banking error, then maybe your employer has something to do with it.
  • Your salary is below the minimum wage. Aside from the federal minimum wage, some states also have their own minimum wage rates. If your boss pays you below that rate, report it to your state department.
  • Your employer refuses to provide you a bonus, which was included in your contract. Employers are not required to pay bonuses. But if an employer has promised his employee to provide a bonus, it is considered an oral contract.
  • You are not paid for your overtime work. The hourly rate for overtime work is one and a half times the regular rate. If an employee is not exempted to work overtime, he should be paid for working beyond office hours.
  • Your employer filed for bankruptcy. You can still receive your wages in a priority basis.

If you are in these kinds of situation, don't worry. There are still ways for you to recover your unpaid wages. However, you will need to perform several important tasks. First you need to obtain evidence showing your wage amount. You should also review your employment contract to avoid confusion. And then, you should hire an employment lawyer.

As an employee, you have the right to recover your unpaid wages. But you cannot obtain them immediately. You will need to go through the legal process and prove your employer's fault in a hearing. As long as you have an Los Angeles labor attorney, you are in good hands.