Did you know that missing wages and salaries add up to millions of dollars each year? Although it can happen for a variety of reasons, it’s not uncommon for workers to miss out on paychecks or employee compensation that they’re due. Luckily, if you believe you are owed back pay from missing paychecks, there are a few things you can do to find your missing money and claim it.
There are many employee laws that protect you against losing your hard-earned wages, such as the Workers Compensation Act. Find out more about your protections AND how to search for and claim your missing wages by clicking through this quick article.
Back pay is money that should have been paid to an employee but was never paid out. The Department of Labor (DOL) oversees the process of paying employees fairly for the work they do. When you are missing wages from your job, you may receive it later after bringing it to your employer’s attention.
If you think you are owed back pay, it’s important to understand how American labor laws work. For starters, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was created in 1938 to enforce fair compensation to all U.S. employees. The law created a national minimum wage, which is the least amount of money per hour all employees must earn, as well as established overtime compensation of time-and-a-half for all employees working more than 40 hours per week.
Given that, you can earn back pay for the following types of missing paychecks or salaries:
- Money you earned working regular hours (up to 40 hours/week)
- Money you earned working overtime (any hours worked beyond 40 hours/week)
When employers withhold this money or do not pay the correct amount, they are committing a wage violation. Back pay is the most common solution to wage violations. If cases are brought to court, the employer may be ordered to pay it out to any and all employees affected!
If you think you have missing wages, it is important to act fast. Back pay typically has a statute of limitations of two years… This means you only have two years to claim your missing money! If the court finds the employer willfully withheld your wages, you may have up to three years to claim your earned money.