Getting justice starts with deciding to take a stand against the injustice being done to you. Far too many instances of wage theft go unreported every year in the United States. Wage theft refers to any situation where an employer does not pay wages due to an employee – either regarding the amount due or the timeline within which the employer is required to pay. But because of the complicated nature of wage claims, and the often confusing implications of state and federal laws, simply deciding to make a wage claim is often not enough. If you’re pursuing a wage claim case in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it’s highly likely that you need a wage claim lawyer to help. Why?
A Lawyer Can Help You Decide if You Have a Case
According to Nolo, wage theft occurs if your employer fails to pay you:
- minimum wage
- for break time provided by law (or has not allowed you to take required breaks)
- for “off-the-clock” work
- for time you need to put on or take off safety or other work-related gear or uniforms
- for untaken, accrued vacation time (if required by state law)
- premium overtime pay for hours worked over the legal straight-hour maximum (over 40 hours in a workweek under federal law; over 8 hours in a workday under some state laws), or
- for travel time during the workday that is related to work (and, in some states, certain travel to and from work).
But wage law is complicated, and these are not clear cut stipulations. They vary depending on your industry, location, and what kind of employee you are. There are almost endless nuances to wage and hour law. For example, wage claims get even more complicated when dealing with employees who work for tips or receive commissions. In addition, not all travel time must be compensated according to the law. According to the Employment Law Handbook, employers in certain industries are allowed by law to dictate their schedules for paying employees and are not required to pay bi-monthly as employers in other industries are. A lawyer can examine your case and let you know if wage theft has actually occurred, and if so, to what degree.
A Lawyer Can Reveal All of Your Options
If you have a valid wage claim case, usually you’ll have the option to sue your employer. But in many cases, you might have other options which may be preferable for a number of reasons. For example, if you have worked and not be paid in Louisiana, you can file a claim for unpaid wages against your employer with the Louisiana state labor department, which will then hold a hearing to issue a finding on the claim. Nolo recommends this route as a faster and less expensive alternative to a lawsuit. However, choosing a wage claim with the labor department over a lawsuit can come with disadvantages as well. An experienced wage claim lawyer can help you understand which option will maximize your opportunities for recovering damages.
You also have the option to contact your employer and informally negotiate a settlement of your wage claim. Comparing all these possible options with your attorney can help you make informed and effective decisions that are in your best interest.
A Lawyer Can Give You a Cost/Benefit Analysis
Pursuing a wage claim – especially if it becomes a lawsuit – comes at a cost. A lawyer can help you understand if the benefits of the damages you’ll be able to recover from your employer outweigh the cost of pursuing a lawsuit or claim.
A Lawyer Can Help You Effectively Present Your Case
Louisiana has very strict time frames in which a wage claim can be pursued. In addition, you’ll need to present evidence that will prove your case convincingly. A wage claim lawyer can help make sure you don’t lose the opportunity to recover your wages owed simply because you missed a deadline or a valuable piece of evidence. In addition, a wage claim attorney knows employment law inside and out and can argue your case in the most convincing and impactful way possible.
Think You Have a Wage Claim? What’s Next?
If you’re missing wages that you’ve worked for, it’s time to act! Don’t become another statistic of someone who didn’t take action against the injustice of wage theft. The legal team at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf is here to make your case their focus. If you want justice for your unpaid wages in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, don’t move forward without getting the legal help you need and deserve. Get immediate consultation, professional staff, and personable service. Call 225-343-2205 or send us a message online.
3960 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806