Jaburg Wilk


What to do When an Employer Fails to Pay Earned Wages

Categories: Employment, Article

Video Transcript:

Hi, my name is Jeff Silence.  I'm an associate at Jaburg & Wilk and I primarily do employment law.

What Should I do if My Employer Failed to Pay me Wages?

You have two options at this point. First you could file a complaint with the Arizona Labor Department. They have the power to investigate these kinds of claims and order your employer to pay you the money they should have paid you. OR, you can hire an attorney. Many employees who are owed let's say $500, are hesitant to hire an attorney because they are expensive. What you should know, as an employee is that many attorneys are willing to take these cases because an employee can get three times the amount of wages they should have been paid and they can also recover their attorney's fees. Courts are very inclined to help employees who should have been paid and weren't. They do tend to award three times wages and attorney's fees when the employee can clearly prove that they worked and weren't paid.

What Remedies are Available to Employees?

Employees can get three times the amount of wages and attorney's fees. Employees may also have other claims for example, you weren't paid your final paycheck because you got into some kind of argument with your boss. You may also have a claim for failure to pay minimum wage because you worked let's say 20 hours and weren't paid any money for that time. Courts are even harsher when employers fail to pay minimum wage and the laws are also even more favorable to employees in those situations. For example, employees can recover a mandatory award of attorney's fees when their employer doesn't pay them minimum wage. This gives attorneys a lot of leverage to settle these kinds of claims early on because employers know if they go to trial and lose, they are going to have to pay the employees attorney's fees.

 About the Author: Jeffrey E. Silence is an attorney at Jaburg Wilk. He focuses his practice in employment law and represents both employers and employees to navigate these and other difficult issues.