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Does Your Employer Owe You Money? Here’s What You Can Do

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If you suspect your employer owes you money for unpaid overtime, denied benefits, or unreimbursed expenses discrepancy, it’s crucial to know what you can do to rectify this issue. 

This article will provide you with a guide outlining what to do if your employer owes you money in the USA. From identifying the problem and communicating with your employer all the way up to potentially seeking legal action—we cover it all. Let’s navigate these difficult waters together.

Wage Theft and Violations are an Ongoing Problem 

According to studies, employers steal $8 billion annually from their employees. However, this number is likely much higher if you take migrant workers, Worker’s Compensation violations, and 401(k) matching infractions into account. Employers steal from employees daily.

The only way to prevent this problem is by strengthening legal protections, increasing penalties for violations, and protecting the people who report said violations from retaliation. However, if you’re currently waiting on your payment, there’s a low possibility you can wait for this change.

The best thing to do in this scenario is to follow the below steps and hire a local lawyer. For example, Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP can set you up with an NYC Workers’ Comp lawyer that can fight for you by navigating the complex court system on your behalf.

7 Steps to Take if Your Employer Owes You Money in the USA

Speaking to your employer about a potential wage thrift situation can be a scary process, but if you have the means to do so, you should absolutely follow these steps to get your money back.

Step 1: Identify the Issue

Firstly, you need to be quite sure that your employer indeed owes you money. It could take the form of unpaid wages or overtime, denied benefits, or unreimbursed expenses. Once identified, gather concrete evidence to substantiate your claims, like pay stubs and email communications.

Step 2: Discuss with Your Employer

The next step is a calm and composed discussion with your employer. Clearly express your concerns, backing them up with accurate details from your collected evidence. Many times, these kinds of issues could be due to a simple oversight that can be addressed internally.

Step 3: Keep Detailed Records

Maintaining detailed records of all your interactions with your employer concerning this issue is critical. Ensure you have copies of letters, emails, and other forms of communication that you’ve used to discuss the matter. Any evidence you can gather will be useful for legal proceedings.

Step 4: Contact an Employment Lawyer

If the issue persists, it may be time to seek guidance from a legal professional. An employment attorney, such as an NYC workers’ comp lawyer if you’re situated in New York City, can provide expert advice based on your local labor laws and guide you on your potential next steps.

Step 5: Filing a Wage Complaint

If the issue remains unresolved despite your efforts, you can escalate it by lodging a wage complaint. Depending on your location, this may be done through your state’s labor department or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which handles federal disputes.

Step 6: Seek Legal Action

The final resort in this process is to take legal action against your employer. If other measures are unsuccessful, filing a lawsuit might become necessary. This is typically governed by your state’s laws or provisions under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Step 7: Consider Going to Court

Typically, two parties will try to settle wage complaint matters via mediation because it’s cheaper. However, you can choose to go to court instead. Before deciding, ensure you fully understand the risks and potential outcomes. When in doubt, always consult with your attorney.

In Conclusion… 

It’s important to understand that you, as an employee, have rights, and it’s essential to act if you’re not receiving what you deserve. Navigating wage disputes can be complex, but armed with the right knowledge and resources, you can confidently address these issues quickly. 

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