4 Reasons Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Sue for Back Wages, and Why You Should

Unpaid Wages

We’ve all done it. Stayed invested in something for too long, even though we knew we were being taken advantage of. We weighed each and every possibility in our head of the final outcome. We tossed and turned with the hopes and dreams we once had. We couldn’t quite cut the cord just yet because we were still connected, by love, fear, or dependence. Sometimes it’s a relationship, sometimes a friendship, or sometimes even a daily trip to McDonalds. But what if it was your employer? What if they kept making promises to pay you overtime, but never did? What if they asked you to work off the clock? What if your paychecks are consistently missing money? You know it’s wrong. But they helped you out when you needed a job, or they supported you that one time during a family emergency. You feel loyal to your employer. How could you go against them? Here are 4 reasons why you should stand up to your employer.

1. You Deserve Better 

“If you do the work, you get rewarded”…” Michael Jordan. But what if you aren’t rewarded, aka paid? Although it may feel like it, your relationship with your employer is not personal. It is natural to forge a connection as you work together, but that connection does not, in any way, change the fact that you deserve compensation for your hard work. It is not right, and most importantly not legal, for your employer to ask you to receive pay at a different time, at a different rate or not at all. It is also not legal for your employer to ask you to work off the clock. This might look like setting up your work space or materials before you clock in. Or asking you to stay and help clean up or finish work after you have clocked out. You deserve better than that. 

2. They Are Using You

“Without labor, nothing prospers.” Sophocles. The “nothing prospers” should not be your paycheck. If you are an hourly employee, you are entitled to overtime pay. The overtime pay rate is time and a half of your regular rate and is required by law to be paid on your check within the time frame you received it. So if you worked overtime in January, you should not be compensated for it in December. It seems straightforward, but an employer delaying overtime payment is common. It is also common for an employer to try and avoid overtime payment altogether. This might sound like, “I will pay you next check for that!” or “Hey, don’t log today’s extra work, I will pay you more next time.” It might even sound like, “Do you mind if I don’t pay overtime this week, I am running short on cash.” Bottom line, if you are an hourly employee working overtime, you are owed every minute you work over your agreed upon hours. Stop letting your employer use you. 

3. You Know You Don’t Trust Them 

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare. What if the few you trust are actually doing wrong to you? What if your employer is misclassifying in order to pay you less? Or not pay you at all? Misclassification of employees means the employee’s job title and tasks do not match with the actual job tasks they are completing. For example, day rate workers earn a flat fee for each day they work a certain number of hours. In most states, if the day rate worker works over those specified hours then they are entitled to overtime pay of half of their day rate. When a day rate worker consistently works overtime, they should be classified as an hourly employee. As an hourly employee, they would be entitled to earn time and a half for overtime which is more than double their pay as a day rate worker. Employee misclassification also happens when an employer asks an hourly employee to become a contract employee. Contract employees, also known as freelancers, are considered independent contractors and are not entitled to overtime at all. Salary workers are also mislabeled exempt and do not qualify for overtime pay, when they really should. If your employer has done this to you, the trust is broken. 

4. You Can Start Over 

The first step is always scary, but the lawyers at Josephson Dunlap are here to take that first step with you.  You do not have to suffer anymore or continue to lose out on your hard earned money. You have the ability to take back what was taken from you. We can help you. We want to help you. Once you make contact, we become a team and will partner against your employer. There is no out of pocket cost for you. If you win, the employer pays your backwages, possibly damages, and court and attorney fees. They cannot terminate or discriminate against you for filing a complaint. It is not too late to start over and start getting paid.

We’ve all done it. We have all stayed invested in something that we knew wasn’t right. Now that you know you have options, the time to start fresh is now. When it comes to unpaid overtime wages and employee misclassification, time is money. There is a time limit on reclaiming your unpaid wages. The longer you wait, you increase the risk of not receiving all of your owed money. The time to start over is now! Check the state guidelines to see specific state laws on overtime wages.You might be owed more than you think, and you do not want to miss out on any more of your hard earned money.  Not everything lasts forever, and that’s okay. If your employer is underpaying you, misclassifying you or not paying you overtime, you don’t have to stick around. You deserve better. The attorneys at Josephson and Dunlap not only want to help you, they CAN help you. Just like they have helped thousands of people before you. Stop settling for less than what you deserve. “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” Eleanor Roosevelt. Take charge of your life and job again, call for a free consultation today, and they’ll take it the rest of the way. 

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