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Overtime & Unpaid Wages Lawyers Near You

Joel Francis Murray avatar
Joel has a broad range of experience that includes administrative law, appeals and rulemaking, business and corporate law, consumer protection, government affai...
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Joel has a broad range of experience that includes administrative law, appeals and rulemaking, business and corporate law, consumer protection, government affai...
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Michael Samuel avatar
Michael Samuel is an experienced New York litigation attorney who has handled a variety of matters, including overtime and minimum wage claims, ADA defense case...
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Michael Samuel is an experienced New York litigation attorney who has handled a variety of matters, including overtime and minimum wage claims, ADA defense case...
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Wages are paid according to law and regulation at the federal and state levels. There are numerous sets of rules, and there is a complex interplay between them. You may be eligible for penalties and, in some states, attorney’s fees if your employer has not paid you fully for your work. You may also have grounds to claim unfair competition if an employer does not pay wages in certain circumstances. 

What Is an Unpaid Wages Lawyer?

You can obtain legal advice from an employment lawyer not only to determine whether your employer violated any federal or state law but also to discuss your options for challenging an employer’s illegal conduct. Finding the best unpaid wages lawyer near you is easy with Lawrina’s marketplace of lawyers.

What Does an Unpaid Wages Attorney Do?

Attorneys who specialize in recovering unpaid wages represent people in employment law matters, and they typically:

Explore Your Options

Employees often have the right to sue their employers for violating wage and hours laws. However, in many cases, employees may also have other options. If your employer has not paid your wages, in some states, you can file a claim with the state labor department, which will hold a hearing to decide the matter. There are some disadvantages to this alternative rather than a lawsuit, which a lawyer can help you identify (such as eliminating your right to sue or limiting the damages you can recover).

You can also try to negotiate a settlement with the employer informally. If you're unsure of how to proceed, you can speak with an employment lawyer who can help you compare these options.

Analysis of Benefits and Costs

Additionally, an employment lawyer near you can assess whether you have a good chance of winning in any of these options and how much it will cost to pursue each of them. You and your lawyer will discuss what damages you may recover and what attorney fees may be associated with pursuing that recovery.

When to Hire an Unpaid Wages Lawyer?

If your employer hasn’t paid you, you may have a claim for unpaid wages for:

  • Minimum wage
  • For required breaks (or your employer hasn’t allowed you to take breaks, as required by law)
  • Work done “off the clock” outside your pay period
  • The time you need to put on or take off any safety gear or uniforms to perform your job duties
  • For vacation time accrued but not taken (if required by state law)
  • Unpaid overtime wages after exceeding the legal straight-hour limit (more than 40 hours a week under federal law; more than eight hours a day under some states’ laws)
  • During the workday, if you travel for work-related reasons (and in some states, if you travel to and from work, the employer covers the time is covered)
  • Additional wages owed to independent contractors

However, the claims are not clearly defined. Even claiming minimum wage can be difficult if you receive tips or commissions. In addition, the employer doesn’t have to compensate you for every mile traveled. A lawyer can help you determine whether your employer’s conduct violates state or federal law.

How Do I Choose an Unpaid Wages Attorney?

Sitting down with an attorney and getting a thorough assessment of your possible legal claims, avenues of recovery, damages you can recover, and the fees and costs you will have to pay are worth the time and money.

You can only decide if you wish to hire a lawyer to take your employer to court after doing this in-depth analysis. Before agreeing to a consultation, ask as many questions over the phone to ensure you are deciding on a lawyer that best fits your case.

What Is the Unpaid Wages Lawyer Average Cost?

Most people consider how much they will have to pay a lawyer when considering legal action. Be sure to ask the lawyer about legal fees before making a decision. Inquire about the lawyer's fee structure. Do the lawyer’s fees depend on the recovery of the case? 

You can analyze the overall cost of making an unpaid wage claim by discussing all the fee arrangements available to you.

Do Unpaid Wages Attorneys Near You Usually Charge for Consultations?

There is probably a lawyer for unpaid wages near you who offers a free or reduced-price initial consultation. A lawyer might offer a free 45-minute consultation or may charge a minimum hourly fee.

During the appointment setting process, ask the attorney how much the consultation will cost. Ask what you should bring to the consultation and be prepared with a paper trail of your wage discrepancies. When paying by the hour, you’ll want to explain your situation as efficiently as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

After I was fired, can I still get my wages?

Certainly. Whether you leave on your own or your employer fires you, you must be paid for all hours you worked.

What do I do if I have unpaid wages?

If you are comfortable discussing your concerns with management or Human Resources, start there. Speak with management and payroll to determine whether they made an error. A labor board claim or hiring an employment lawyer does not require you to contact your employer first about wage violations.

If you want to collect unpaid wages from the government, you have several options.

  1. File complaints with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL).
  2. The DOL investigates unpaid wages claims.
  3. If you have unpaid wages, the DOL can help you get them back, but they’re difficult to reach, they’re slow to resolve claims, and they’re generally less effective than an employment attorney.
Can I sue for unpaid wages?

You are likely to receive your unpaid wages only if you file a lawsuit against your employer. Contact an employment lawyer for more information about filing a claim for unpaid wages.

You may recover compensation if you consult an employment lawyer. In addition to unpaid wage damages, interest, and overtime attorney’s fees, you may be entitled to other damages depending on where you work.