Employees in Texas who have been paid less than the state's minimum wage or denied overtime pay may be entitled to receive back pay from their employers. Back pay is the amount of wages that a worker should have been paid by their employer while the employer was violating wage and hour laws.
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division investigates employers that are suspected of committing wage and hour law violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If an employer is found to have violated the FLSA, the WHD will take action to recover back wages for the employees that were affected. Employers who willfully violate the FLSA may also face fines and criminal prosecution.
Many WHD investigations begin when a worker files a complaint against their employer. The WHD also initiates investigates on its own. Unless an investigation was initiated by a worker's complaint, the WHD will usually select several businesses in a specific region or industry to target for investigations. If a worker files a wage and hour law complaint with the WHD, the complaint is kept confidential unless the investigation requires the complainant's identity to be revealed.
A worker who files a complaint about wage and hour law violations with the WHD is legally protected from retaliation. An attorney may be able to help a worker to gather evidence for a WHD complaint and pursue compensation for back wages. If a worker is fired or demoted because of the filing of a complaint about wage theft, an attorney may help the worker to petition for reinstatement or monetary reimbursement for damages.