Employees might need court orders to collect back pay

Most employers in Texas make a good faith attempt to pay their workers correctly, but abuses do occur. Sometimes, employers fail to pay people what they are owed by ignoring overtime laws, miscalculating wages or applying the wrong wages. When these issues happen, employees might need to seek a court order to force employers to comply.

To be on guard against pay errors and abuses, people should keep any records regarding their hours worked and paychecks that they are given. By cross-checking pay against what is owed, people can catch mistakes right away or have evidence if they need to approach a court. Initially, employees could approach their employers and alert them to mistakes. This might result in a private settlement and the voluntary payment of back pay.

When an organization contests claims for back pay, the employee could file a complaint with the regional government agency that oversees labor laws. If the agency detects widespread mishandling of wages, it might pay for a lawsuit against the responsible party. In some cases, a person might choose to pursue a lawsuit even when government support is not forthcoming. In either situation, once a suit gets to court, a judge might decide in the plaintiff's favor and issue an order requiring payment.

Consulting an attorney may be an appropriate first step for a person who is owed back pay and been rebuffed by an employer unwilling to correct the problem. An attorney knowledgeable about wage and hour laws might assist the person with filing a complaint with the government. If private litigation appears likely, an attorney may guide the person through that process while striving to hold the employer accountable.

Source: Wise Geek, "How Do I Collect Back Pay?", Dec. 5, 2018

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