Wage Claim: What you need to know

Employment Law Q & A: Wage Claim

For this Employment Law Q&A installment Attorney Matt Jacobs answers questions related to unpaid wages. We have answers to your questions: Scroll down to find his answers to some of the most common questions about wage claims.

unpaid wage claim


What evidence do I need for a wage claim?

That’s a great question. Luckily, many different forms of evidence can be used to support a claim for unpaid wages. For example, time sheets, pay stubs, W-2 forms, and driving records are common types of evidence used to support an unpaid wage claim. However, in some circumstances employers will adjust an employee’s time records, or require that they work “off the clock.” In order to overcome missing, faulty, or manipulated records, the testimony of witnesses, or the claimant themselves, can be used to support a claim for unpaid wages.


Could I sue for unpaid wages without a lawyer?

The right to sue and defend against suit is a fundamental privilege. Accordingly, any person may bring an action in court, on their own behalf, for unpaid wages.


Follow-up question: Why would I need a lawyer for a wage claim?

An individual with a claim for unpaid wages would need a lawyer because navigating the legal system is very tricky. Federal and State rules of civil and judicial procedure provide specific rules as to form in which legal cases are brought and timing of when important stages should be complete. Further, employers often aggressively defend against unpaid wage claims with their own team of lawyers. It is important that a person or their representative have an understanding of the court’s requirements and common the actions employers take when being sued for unpaid wages. Having an understanding of the law, court procedure, and common employer action can allow a claimant to best position themselves against an employer’s aggressive defense team.


So, what does an employment lawyer really do?

Another good question. First and foremost, employment lawyers are familiar with the Federal and State laws governing employment relationships. Employment lawyers are experienced in analyzing the facts of a case and how they stand up against those Federal and State laws. In addition, they review the available evidence and develop a strategy to achieve the best resolution of the case. Bottom line, they help you navigate the law and ensure that you get any unpaid wages you deserve.


From start to finish, how exactly does a wage claim dispute work ?

To start off, unpaid wage disputes often arise far before an employee even makes a claim for the unpaid wages. It is common for you to notice a lack of payment far before ever bringing it to the attention of your employer. Some people notify their employer directly of the non-payment of wages, others are understandably too afraid to voice their concerns for fear of losing their job.

If you believe that you have not been paid compensation owed you there are two things you can do:

  1. Inform your employer or former employer yourself or
  2. Inform them through an attorney.

If you decide to contact an attorney, the attorney will review the facts of the case and help you determine what wages you are owed. After determining what is owed, an attorney will often send a letter informing the employer that there is a dispute over unpaid wages and that employer has possibility violated the law.

Depending on how the employer responds to the letter, an employee can file a complaint with the court to enforce the wage and hour laws.


What is your favorite part about being an Employment Attorney?

My favorite part of being an Employment Attorney at John Bales Attorneys is helping my clients. I really enjoy advocating for people who have been taken advantage of, and helping them stand up for themselves.


So, in a nutshell how does a wage claim work?

In short, if you are not getting paid for all the work that you do for an employer you are likely entitled to recuperate your unpaid wages with a wage claim.


Couldn’t find an answer to your specific question on wage claims? Send us a message and we’ll answer it for you.

Think that you have a wage claim case? Contact our Employment Dispute Team now and we’ll let you know if you have a case right away.