What are Unpaid Wages?
Unpaid wages is a broad term used to describe any compensation for work completed (or hours worked) that isn’t paid to an employee by an employer.
Many employees believe that there’s nothing they can do to recover those lost wages, and fail to take the actions necessary to recover lost wages and to prevent future wages from going unpaid.
Not only does this increase employee frustration, it also allows the employer to continue to mistreat employees via wage theft.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA – https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/) does a great job of outlining minimum wage, overtime rules, as well as a few different online tools to help you determine what is required of employers by law.
However, the most common types of unpaid wages extend far beyond paychecks that go unpaid.
Examples of Unpaid Wages Include:
- Unpaid overtime
- Unpaid sales commissions
- Unpaid bonuses
- Unpaid business expense reimbursements
- Meal/rest break violations
- Independent Contractor Misclassification
- Exempt Employee Misclassification
By law, employers are required to have enough money to cover all employee paychecks for 30 days after the date of issue. And if something happens, and a paycheck bounces, employers are required to pay all unpaid wages immediately.
Recovering Back Pay & Unpaid Wages
Employers are required by law to pay you the wages you’re owed. Many of these violations can easily exceed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, in addition to interest, damages and penalties that you can still recover!
Are Unpaid Wages the Same as Wage Theft?
Yes. Wage theft and unpaid wages are often used interchangeably.
What are Wage Disputes?
Wage disputes can occur when you and your employer disagree on things like overtime pay, meal & rest break pay, business expense reimbursements. If you believe you aren’t being paid the proper wages, you should consult an experienced employment attorney.