When employees cite wage violations and demand the earnings that they are entitled to, employers will be ordered to make up the difference. The amount of money that is paid as a result of the order is known as “back pay.” Simply put, it is the money that your employer should have paid you in the first place.
The U.S. Department of Labor designed four channels to receive back pay. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, your wages (including minimum wage and overtime) must comply with federal and state standards. These standards are enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, which also enforces laws like the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Medical Leave Act, and more.
The four ways workers may recover back pay are:
- Filing a claim with the Wage and Hour Division
- Receiving back pay from a claim from the Secretary of Labor
- Filing a private claim for back pay with an employment attorney
- Receiving back pay from an injunction filed by the Secretary of Labor
In addition, the law protects you from punishment or retaliation if you file a claim against your employer for wage violations. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act stipulates that you cannot file a private suit if you have already filed a claim with the Wage and Hour Division or if the Secretary of Labor is already pursuing action against your employer.
Of these four channels, only two are incumbent upon your action. The Secretary of Labor is likely only to act if your employer is large enough to register on the Department’s radar. You can file a claim with the Wage and Hour Division, but if your employer has willfully denied you income, you may be entitled to more than your back pay—you may be entitled to damages.
The only way you can recover back pay, damages, and pay for court fees is through a private claim with a wage-and-hour attorney. Our firm’s employment law attorney, Alan Burton Newman, has over 30 years of experience handling wage claims throughout Los Angeles and Southern California. As a Harvard-educated wage-and-hour lawyer, he recovers for his clients quickly and effectively.
Why you can depend on Alan Burton Newman, PLC to handle your case:
- Has recovered millions for clients
- Typically resolves cases within 90 days
- Handles cases entirely over the phone or email
- Offers free case consultations to answer your questions
If you need the representation of a skilled wage-and-hour lawyer in LA, contact our firm today.