If you live in the Los Angeles area, then you are no stranger to the high cost of living. Your credentials enable you to work in a financially rewarding career. As much as you cherish your job and the financial security it has proved, you suspect that your employer has not paid you all your wages.
There are many reasons an employer might withhold wages. Regardless of what those reasons may be, not paying workers' their full wages is a direct violation of their employment contracts and against the law. Here are some things you can do if you believe your employer owes you back pay.
Keep accurate records
Keep a copy of your work schedule and of the times you worked. Be sure to include dates, times and the names of your coworkers and supervisors. Do not overlook the times when you changed shifts, worked someone else's hours and worked from someplace other than your normal workplace. You should not assume you can rely on your paycheck stubs for this information.
Check your employment designation
Depending on your job classification and duties, you might be eligible for overtime pay and other benefits. Double check your new hire paperwork and employment contract to determine if you are an exempt or non-exempt worker. If your employer misclassified your employment type, he or she could owe you more back wages and overtime pay than you think.
Keep in mind that your employer must pay you within a reasonable amount of time. For example, if your check was short this week, it is not unreasonable for your employer to pay you what you are due up to two pay periods later. However, if it has been several months since you did not receive your full pay, you might want to consider filing a claim for unpaid wages.
If you suspect you have unpaid wages or are not certain if your employer owes you back pay, you might want to speak to an attorney for guidance and to learn about options to help you receive them.