If your boss shorts you on pay in any way, you have the prerogative to claim those wages. Additionally, if your boss makes you work extra hours or through your lunch break without compensating you, or your weekly paychecks bounce, you can press charges to recover these unpaid wages. You’ll need adequate records of your underpayment or lack of payment completely to serve as evidence in your case.  This can include time sheets, bounced checks, communication (such as letters or e-mails) receipts, and more. In many states, income includes payment for work (hourly or salaried), sale bonuses or commissions, vacation pay, overtime wages, and personal time off in addition to any automobile or travel expenses.

Before suing for wages, make sure you try one last attempt at collecting everything that is owed to you—in writing. If your employer still refuses to comply, proceed by contacting a lawyer who can inform you of your legal options, and answer questions you may have regarding laws on overtime pay and wages. Most likely, if you are reading this post, you have exhausted all options of attempting to obtain the money from your employer that is rightfully owed to you. If this is the case, by all means, contact one of our employment law attorneys and explain the details of your situation so we can work at obtaining all wages that are owed to you from your employer.

A lawyer may attempt to settle with an employer on your behalf—sometimes an employee asking for wages isn’t enough, and having a lawyer ask is much more intimidating and often does the trick because the employer realizes you really mean business, and wants to avoid any legal troubles. In some scenarios, however, an employer still won’t comply and has to be taken to court.

Depending on where you live, this can be county, local, state justice of the peace, district or small claims court. Most states will also require that the employer pay your attorney’s fees in addition to your wages, since it is their fault you had to obtain legal counsel to begin with.  Contact an employment law attorney in your state to find out if this law, in fact, can apply to you and your situation based on the laws in your area.