Can I Sue My Employer for Unpaid Wages?

Can I Sue My Employer for Unpaid Wages?

Employers who fail to pay all of the wages that their employees have earned have committed a type of theft. There are state and federal labor laws that protect workers, entitling them to receive all of the wages that they are owed for the work that they perform. Workers who are able to prove that their employers have not paid them what they are owed may be able to sue their employers to recoup their pay. The employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler may be able to  help you recover the pay that you deserve.

Minimum wage

In Pennsylvania and under federal law, employers must pay their workers a minimum of $7.25 per hour in most cases. In New Jersey, employers must pay their workers a minimum of $8.44 per hour. Employers are also forbidden from taking deductions from their workers’ paychecks that reduce their pay to below the minimum wage, and employers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are also forbidden from taking deductions that do not benefit the workers, including charges for uniforms or damages to equipment. In addition to taking disallowed deductions, some employers violate the state and federal wage and hour laws by failing to pay their workers for all of the hours that they have worked.

Failing to pay for the hours worked

There are several ways that employers fail to pay their workers for the hours that they have worked. In both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, employers must pay their workers for meal and rest breaks that the employees are forced to work through. They must also pay them for the time that they spend in required training and classes. Workers who have to travel as a part of their jobs must be paid for the time they spend traveling. If workers have to spend time waiting on the premises before or after their shifts, they must be paid for that time as well.

Failures to pay overtime

While not all workers are entitled to overtime pay, many are. Some employers fail to pay their workers the required overtime rate of 1.5 times their normal hourly wage for all hours that the employees work in a week over 40. Other employers try to skirt the overtime rules by misclassifying workers as exempt employees in order to avoid paying them overtime. Employees must be able to exercise discretion and judgment in their jobs and meet several other qualifications before they can be considered to be exempt employees from the overtime rules of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Contact Our Attorneys

If you believe that your employer has not paid you for all of the hours that you have worked, you should start by addressing the problem with your boss or the human resources department. If nothing is done, then you might want to schedule a consultation with the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler for help with recovering the money that you are owed.