Recovering Employee Wage and Hour Claims
Across the United States, if you perform work for an employer and that employer fails to compensate you with pay or benefits, you may have a claim against that employer for unpaid wages or other compensation. Depending on the situation of your case, there may be a few avenues of recovery.
If you have a claim for unpaid wages, there are good odds that your claim will lie with your state’s labor commission, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include, among others, whether or not you are an independent contractor, federal employee, or even certain union workers working under specific collective bargaining agreements. However, if you fall within the jurisdiction of the state’s labor commission, it has the ability to hear and resolve complaints against employers for unpaid wages or other compensation.
The Wage Claim Process
Generally, a complaint is filed with a state’s labor commission and an informal conference will be held in an attempt to resolve the issues. If there is still a dispute thereafter, the commission will set a formal hearing. At the formal hearing, both parties will have the right:
- To be represented by an attorney
- To present evidence
- To testify on their own behalf
- To present witnesses to testify on their behalf
- To cross-examine the opposing party and witnesses
- To explain evidence offered in support of their position
- To rebut evidence offered by the opposing party
- To have a translator present
After the hearing, the commission will make a decision. If either party fails to timely appeal the decision, it will be final and automatically enforced by the courts. If an appeal is made in a timely manner, the case will be heard in court. The appealing party will be responsible for the non-appealing party’s attorney’s fees if unsuccessful.
The Formal Hearing
If a formal hearing is necessary in your case, there are a few things you should know, aside from your rights described above.
- First, you will be required to testify under oath and the proceedings will be recorded.
- Second, the hearing officer has the sole authority and discretion to conduct the hearing as he or she sees fit.
- Third, you should bring all documents that will support your case.
- Fourth, the Commission can compel witnesses and the production of documents.
- Finally, if you fail to appear, your case will be dismissed.
If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the hearing, you have a certain number of days to appeal the decision to civil court.
Consult a Business Attorney
If you have a claim for lost wages against your employer or former employer, you should contact an experienced business lawyer in Melbourne, FL who understands how to navigate labor laws, and who will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call a law office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood for their insight into business law and recovering unpaid wages.