Wage Claim Retaliation: Reporting Unpaid Wages | Mann & Elias
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Wage Claim Retaliation: Harassed for Reporting Unpaid Wages

Need Legal Help? Talk to an Employment Attorney for Wage Claim Disputes

Wage Claim RetaliationAs a dedicated employee, you expect to receive proper pay for the hours you contributed throughout the week. When you aren’t, it can be a concerning ordeal. Most employees are unsure of what to do when an employer is withholding pay without reason. As a common occurrence, we understand it can be frustrating when you need to negotiate about getting what is owed to you.

There are laws in place on a federal and state level to protect you when it comes to minimum wage, weekly duties, and policies regarding overtime pay. Employers are expected to comply with them under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you find that there is no pay coming your way you should file a wage claim. Legally you can not be retaliated against for reporting violations of California’s labor laws.

The Los Angeles employment attorneys at Mann & Elias help employees get the justice they deserve when an employer retaliates. We have a firm understanding of what they may do to punish you or stall payments further. If you were unlawfully terminated we would find a way to get your job back and aggressively fight for compensation. In the meantime, this article serves as a resource. Read on to learn more about your rights and how to combat your employers’ harassment in the workplace.

Reporting Unpaid/Underpaid Wages

When an employer fails to pay an employee or underpays, you can file a legal claim for damages to recover what is owed. In 2020 alone, the Department of Labor (DOL) recovered $706,000 for underpaid workers. A few examples of wage violations include:

  • Getting paid less overtime than what is owed to you.
  • Illegal deductions of your pay.
  • Getting paid less than minimum wage.
  • Not getting paid overtime at all.

When this happens you can and should file a report with the help of a labor attorney for LA employees, especially if you feel that you will suffer negative consequences or risk losing your job. A legal professional will guide you through the process of filing an internal complaint, a wage claim with the DOL, and eventually a lawsuit against your employer for FLSA violations. There are a lot of components that go into this process, but you should choose the best one that pertains to your situation.

When you file a report for unpaid wages, you should have appropriate documents ready to prove your claim, whether it is an internal complaint or you are reporting through California’s Department of Labor. A Los Angeles lawyer for work-related retaliation will recommend you have the following:

  • Time records – a log of recorded hours worked for the company.
  • Paystubs – to indicate payments during the period they will be investigating.
  • Bounced checks (if applicable) – may be used to show that an employer did not pay enough to fund a bill or item you might normally have been able to buy.
  • Notice to Employee – the official document you received upon hire, with legal information about the company.

The employer may also be asked to retain the same information. Additional supporting evidence can also be included.

Protection from Retaliation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects you from any form of retaliation when you assert your rights as an employee. Retaliation is any action that your boss takes to provide a negative or hostile work environment because you filed a claim for wage violations. Protection is extended for formal complaints, informal complaints, and if you testify about improper wages during a hearing. It is important to know that retaliation looks different for everyone. Your employer may:

  • Demote you.
  • Reduce your pay.
  • Give you an unfair work schedule.
  • Fire you without reason.
  • Give you a bad performance review.
  • Take unwarranted disciplinary actions.
  • Engage in verbal and physical harassment.

As long as you can prove that these actions have a direct correlation to filing a wage claim, you and your workplace retaliation lawyers in LA have a strong case. Another reason to consult with a legal professional is to avoid mistakenly filing against your boss. If, for example, you miscalculated or forgot about an unexpected day off, the EEOC will still protect you from retaliation.

Proving Retaliation

If you have already filed a wage claim, you can add on a charge of retaliation. Though, you should speak with your attorney for retaliation-based wage disputes first to determine the best way to protect your rights and fix the issue at hand – getting back pay owed to you. Victims can file a lawsuit in state or federal court down the road for the alleged treatment.

Keep in mind that retaliation complaints must be filed within a year of it happening unless it is an equal pay act violation or whistleblower complaint pertaining to childcare. The statute of limitations will vary. If those circumstances affect your situation, filing a private lawsuit may be a better option. Unless an employer admits to acting against you for complaining, finding direct evidence won’t be easy. Make sure that indirect evidence will strongly contribute to your case.

Damages for Retaliation

The longer you wait to take legal action, you will have to endure hardships at work and risk your chances of a successful case. Similarly, the court may find that the issues you experienced were not as bad as you let on. If you file a retaliation claim through the EEOC, you will receive money for damages caused depending on the facts of your case. You can get reimbursed for:

  • Lost wages if you were demoted or wrongfully terminated.
  • Out-of-pocket costs while looking for a new job.
  • Partial or full coverage of attorney fees.
  • Liquidated damages that amount to lost wages.

In the end, remember that you don’t have to endure negative treatment or continue to get unpaid/underpaid for the time you commit to work. Not only is it against the law, but you should play an active role in protecting your rights as an employee. If an employer retaliated against you at work in CA, reach out to one of our trusted attorneys to determine the extent of the violations and successfully prove your case in court.

About Mann & Elias

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every state and federal court system level in lawsuits regarding discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, and more. When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work.

Workplace disputes and negotiations can be complicated and uncomfortable between an employee and employer. In many cases, an employer can retaliate, causing individuals to feel that they are at a great disadvantage in the company. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we strongly believe our success is based on:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Since our partnership began over 20 years ago, we have settled hundreds of claims, completed 100 jury and bench trials, and recovered more than $18 million in settlements. In the end, our goal is to understand what you need and achieve the best outcome for you by focusing on those needs. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com.


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