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What happens when a worker is owed back pay?

| Mar 26, 2020 | Benefits & Compensation, Blog |

Some Texas employees believe they are entitled compensation for work that they have already completed. Sometimes, employers fail to pay the proper wages to their workers who may be struggling to pay bills or care for loved ones.

Back pay is payment for work that has been fully or partially completed for which the employee has not yet been compensated. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA is in place to protect workers if their employers do not compensate them properly. Employees may not be aware that wage and hour laws are in place to protect them.
Responsibility for enforcing the FLSA falls on the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, or WHD, which hears workers’ complaints and conducts investigations on their behalf. Each worker’s name, as well as the nature of each complaint, is kept confidential unless the employee wishes to escalate to submit a formal legal complaint.

To submit complaints, workers may be asked to submit any records they have to the WHD about the wages in question, including the name of the company for which they worked, pay stubs, job descriptions and frequency of pay; also, employees may not be discriminated against or terminated because of any WHD investigation that may include interviewing the complainants’ coworkers as well as the companies’ owners and supervisors. However, workers who feel they are owed compensation need to know that there is a statute of limitations concerning the recovery of back pay.

Workers who believe they are owed compensation for prior work performed may not know what all their rights are, and they might feel overwhelmed and fear missing steps in the process of making complaints. A consultation with an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in wage and hour laws may be a beneficial course of action for both a favorable outcome and peace of mind.

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