There are state and federal laws in place designed to protect your interests as an hourly employee. These regulations keep employers from paying workers too little or treating them unfairly by withholding breaks. Wage and hour laws cover many issues, yet violations still happen. When workers believe their Texas employer is not following the law, they have the right to file a complaint.
One of the most common violations committed by employers is wage theft. This most likely means that an employer is withholding a portion of wages you earned or is not paying you at least minimum wage. You deserve to receive pay for work you completed, and you deserve a fair wage that meets the minimum state standards. It may be in your interests to learn how to file a complaint and take other steps necessary to protect your interests.
What should you do next?
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law, employers must pay hourly workers at least minimum wage. Employers must also pay those who work overtime, or more than 40 hours per week, time and a half. If you are not getting what you earned, you have the right to take legal action to hold your employer accountable and secure back pay. If you are unsure of what to do or how to proceed, consider the following:
- If you are a victim of unfair wage practices, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
- The Wage and Hour Division will review the complaint, and it may move forward with an investigation into the employer.
- An employer will not know who filed a complaint, as this information is confidential, and employers cannot discriminate or retaliate against those who take action to secure rightful wages.
These cases are time sensitive, so if you believe you have grounds to move forward with a claim, you may want to initiate this process quickly.
Your rights as an employee
Hourly employees and those who earn minimum wage have rights, and they deserve back pay when their employers do not give them what they earned. You may be hesitant to take action against an employer out of fear of what could happen to your job, but you do not have to walk through this process alone. It may be helpful to discuss your options with an experienced attorney about your wage and hour law concerns.