Failure to Pay Regular Wages: Hourly, Weekly, or Monthly
One of the most fundamental rights of employees is to receive their regular wages for the work they have performed. However, there are instances when employers fail to fulfill this basic obligation, either intentionally or unintentionally. This article explores the legal aspects surrounding the failure to pay regular wages, whether they are hourly, weekly, or monthly. Understanding the rights and legal remedies available can help employees protect themselves in such situations.
Failure to Pay Hourly Wages
Hourly wage employees are entitled to be paid for each hour worked at the agreed-upon rate. Common scenarios of failure to pay hourly wages include:
a. Underpayment: Employers may intentionally pay employees less than the agreed-upon hourly rate, violating wage laws.
b. Unpaid work hours: Employers may fail to compensate employees for all hours worked, such as requiring them to work off-the-clock or not paying for time spent on required training.
c. Time rounding: Employers may round down work hours, resulting in unpaid minutes or fractions of an hour, which can add up over time.
Failure to Pay Weekly or Biweekly Wages
Many employees are paid on a weekly or biweekly basis. Violations related to failure to pay regular weekly or biweekly wages may include:
a. Delayed payment: Employers may delay issuing paychecks, causing financial hardship for employees who rely on timely payment.
b. Partial payment: Employers may only provide partial payment for the agreed-upon wages, resulting in financial difficulties for employees.
c. Unauthorized deductions: Employers cannot make unauthorized deductions from employees’ wages, reducing the amount of their regular pay.
Failure to Pay Monthly Salaries
Salaried employees are typically paid on a monthly basis. Failure to pay regular monthly salaries can occur in various situations, including:
a. Withheld salary: Employers may wrongfully withhold or delay payment of the agreed-upon monthly salary, causing financial distress for employees.
b. Reduction in salary: Employers cannot unilaterally reduce an employee’s monthly salary without proper justification or agreement.
c. Non-payment of bonuses or commissions: If employees are entitled to bonuses or commissions as part of their compensation package, failure to pay them can be a violation of their rights.
Legal Remedies for Failure to Pay Regular Wages
Employees have legal rights and remedies when faced with employers who fail to pay regular wages. Some of the available legal options include:
Filing a wage claim: Employees can file a complaint or wage claim with the appropriate government agency, such as the Department of Labor or state labor board, to seek unpaid wages.
Legal action: Employees can pursue a lawsuit against the employer for wage violations, seeking compensation for unpaid wages, damages, and attorney fees.
Collective actions or class-action lawsuits: In cases where multiple employees are affected by the same wage violation, they may join together in a collective action or class-action lawsuit to hold the employer accountable.
Negotiation and settlement: In some cases, employees may choose to negotiate a settlement with their employer, resolving the wage dispute outside of court.
Failure to pay regular wages, whether hourly, weekly, or monthly, is a serious violation of employees’ rights. It is crucial for employees to be aware of their legal entitlements and take appropriate actions when faced with such violations. Consulting with an experienced employment law attorney can provide guidance and support in seeking unpaid wages and enforcing legal rights. If you believe your employer has failed to pay your regular wages, contact our law firm for a consultation to discuss your situation and protect your rights as an employee.