Recovering Back Your Unpaid Wage



Everyone is entitled for a fair labor. There is such thing as Fair Labor Standards Act and this is enforced by WHD (Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division). Once wage violation is done, there will be an order to the employer to make up for the difference on the amount paid to the employee and the actual amount that he must have been paid. Such difference is termed “back pay”. To understand more about such process, you can learn more here.

An investigation will be conducted by the WHD as it enforces FLSA and a lot of investigations will be initiated through the workers complaints. Now, take note that the worker’s identity will be considered confidential. It will never be disclosed. However, it may be revealed when needed and when permission to do so was granted by the person concerned. Among the information needed to file complaints are the following:

o Worker’s name o Phone number and address of the person concerned o Company’s name involved in the case o Company address o Company manager or owner’s name o Nature of work done o Payment process done o Date of payment made

Other information needed includes pay stubs copies, hours worked and pertinent data about the employer’s pay practices. And take note that the case will not be grounds for your termination from work. This can’t also be used as a reason to discriminate you in any way.

The investigation process

WHD chooses certain types of businesses in a specific region or industry for investigation. The investigation process includes:

• Meeting between the business representatives and WHD representatives. In such meeting, the process of the investigation is explained.

• Records are examined to check for exemptions applicable to the employees or business. The records comprise the annual dollar volume of the business, handling of goods, manufacture and selling of goods in the interstate commerce.

• Payroll records are examined. Transcription making, note taking or photocopies of information needed for the investigation is also done.

• Employees undergo private interviews to check the payroll records and verify time as well as identify the duties of the workers with sufficient detail to know the exemptions and determine the legality of workers employed. Interviews are also conducted on the premises of the employer and arrangements are done in certain situations where previous employees are interviewed in their own home, either through phone or with the use of a mail interview form.

• Once fact-finding steps are done, the employer will be informed is violations were made, what these violations are and ways to correct them. If there are back wages owed, the employer will be told to pay the back wages once amount due has been computed.

Note that the supervision for the payment of back wages will be done by the WHD. The suit will be filed by the secretary of labor if labor violations are done. The employee can also file a private suit against his employer. However, the employee can’t file a private suit if back wages are already paid or if the case was already filed by the Secretary of Labor.


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