A boss can do a lot of things to frustrate an employee, but not paying them for their work makes it towards the top of the list. Unless you go into a job only for the experience or as an internship for college credit, we all expect to get paid. And when our time and energy is put into something only to receive nothing in return, not only is it beyond frustrating—it is illegal.

There are many different ways in which your boss may owe you money. First of all, he or she might not be paying you the legal amount of minimum wage. If your boss is paying you an amount that is lower than it should be, it is safe to say that you are owed money. This amount varies and is based on state and federal law, and it is also based on whether or not your job is one in which you receive tips. If you do make a substantial amount in tips, your employer is allowed to pay you a lower amount than the traditional minimum wage, as long as your tips make up the difference.

Another way a boss might owe you money is by having you work extra hours that are not part of your normal schedule. Maybe your boss is telling you straight out that you won’t get paid for these hours but that the work needs to be done, and forcing you to work off the clock. Or perhaps your boss is taking a different approach and promising that you will receive overtime wages, and you have yet to see any of these extra earnings. It’s possible that your employer never said anything at all—if this is the case, bring it up and if he or she still demands that you work overtime without receiving extra pay and won’t compensate you for the extra hours you’ve worked, it’s important to take legal action if you qualify for overtime pay.

The worst case regarding a paycheck is when there simply isn’t one. You were there every single day and did your job during any given week, and simply weren’t paid. Maybe your boss made up an excuse, but there is no excuse for this. If this behavior continues and you never see your hard-earned money, what can you do about it? The most important thing you can do is contact one of our lawyers today.