Why Do You Need a Lawyer for Unpaid Wages?

The California employment law is clear on minimum wages. If your employer has 25 or fewer employees, you are entitled to a minimum hourly rate of $10, and a minimum hourly rate of $10.50 if your employer hires 26 or more employees.

Of course, these rates can vary to an extent in different cities, with higher payments possible in some areas, such as in Los Angeles. However, some employers may ignore the law and try to force you to work for less than what is legally mandated. Or they may even refuse to pay you altogether.

You will need to consult an unpaid wages attorney in such a situation. The attorney will review your case and offer you a free evaluation. You can then decide if it will be worthwhile, time-wise, and financially, to pursue the case and hire them to represent you.

If you decide to go ahead with your case, here’s why you will need a lawyer for unpaid wages:

The unpaid wages attorney knows the fine points of employment law

It may seem obvious, but it is important to stress it still. The federal and state laws and regulations regarding employment and the payment of wages can be rather complicated. Further, they can change over time. Unless you have an in-depth understanding of current legal matters, it will be in your best interest to go with an experienced and capable professional with up-to-date knowledge of the employment law in your state and city.

The unpaid wages attorney will have a strong grasp on the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and an understanding of how these might apply to your particular profession. After assessing your situation, they will determine if you should proceed with a lawsuit. For instance, you might not have a clear-cut case. Or, your employer may not have violated any state or federal laws.

If you do have a case, they will advise you to fill it with the state labor department or in court, depending on what is more advantageous. They will also inform you of the legal disadvantages either way. Additionally, they will let you know about their legal fees, any additional costs, and the amount you could recover in damages.

The unpaid wages attorney will examine your case and collect relevant information

To present your case in court or with the state labor department, it is necessary to have the records of your employment tenure, work hours, and overtime earnings. Employers have to keep this information on record for at least three years, by law, and your attorney can obtain it from them.

However, if they haven’t done so, the unpaid wages attorney will have to gather the evidence by speaking with your co-workers, other employees, and any other connected individuals. They will also collect information about the work conditions, the work environments, and your employer’s treatment of workers.

The unpaid wages attorney can negotiate with your employer for your unpaid wages

After examining your work records, the unpaid wages attorney will be able to determine if your employer has made any illegal deductions or not paid for overtime work. They will also check if you got compensated for work-related travel, work safety gear, work breaks, and paid vacations.

They will create a list of unpaid wages and present it to your employer. If possible, they will try to work out an out-of-court settlement. Otherwise, they will take the matter to court or the state labor department.

The unpaid wages attorney will take legal action to protect your legal rights

Many employees are reluctant to file a case for unpaid wages against their employer for fear of losing their job or suffering a backlash at the workplace. While these are genuine concerns, you do have legal protection against them in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Along with protecting workers’ rights, the Act penalizes employees for any threatening or harassing behavior. Your attorney will take legal action, in such a case, to safeguard your rights. Hiring the right unpaid wages attorney can make a significant difference in how you ultimately prevail in your case. Along with protecting your rights, they will make sure you receive full compensation for your work.