When can you sue for unpaid wages?

December 22, 2014

You work hard for your money, so when your employer fails to pay you what you’ve rightfully earned, you might be able to sue them for unpaid wages.

When can you sue for unpaid wages?

There are many different factors that will impact whether or not you can take legal action. You should start by contacting a lawyer to see if you have a case or not.

Reasons to sue for unpaid wages

  • Your paychecks bounce
  • Your employer refuses to pay your overtime
  • Your employer forces you to work through breaks and meals without pay

Types of unpaid wages that could be recovered

  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Double time
  • Meal break pay
  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime
  • Rest breaks
  • Unpaid hours of work
  • Unpaid salary

Things you'll need

  • Paycheck stubs
  • Time sheets signed by your employer
  • Employment contract
  • Printouts or records of any communications about nonpayment or underpayment
  • Bounced checks with bank records
  • Detailed diary of how and when nonpayment and underpayment happened
  • Communications between you and your employer about unpaid wages
  • Lawyer or legal consultant

Remember that deciding to take legal action comes with its own risks. You may not win, in which case not only will you not recover your lost wages, but you could also be out quite a bit more money in lawyer’s fees.

And while your company can’t fire you for demanding owed wages, filing a lawsuit will sever your relationship with your employer and you will need to find a new job.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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