Pursuing Claims for Unpaid Hours Worked: Steps to Take When Faced with Violations

Pursuing Claims for Unpaid Hours Worked: Steps to Take When Faced with Violations

Pursuing Claims for Unpaid Hours Worked: Steps to Take When Faced with Violations

Unpaid hours worked is a serious violation of employment laws and can lead to significant financial loss for employees. If you find yourself facing unpaid hours worked, it is important to understand your rights and take appropriate steps to pursue your claims. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to take when faced with violations of unpaid hours worked.

Understand Your Rights
First and foremost, educate yourself about your rights as an employee. Familiarize yourself with federal and state wage and hour laws, including provisions related to overtime pay, minimum wage, and compensable work hours. This knowledge will help you identify when unpaid hours worked violations occur.

Keep Detailed Records
Maintain accurate and detailed records of your work hours, including regular hours, overtime hours, and any unpaid work performed. Keep track of the dates, times, and tasks performed during these hours. These records will serve as crucial evidence to support your claim for unpaid wages.

Consult Internal Resources
If you discover unpaid hours worked, start by raising the issue with your employer’s human resources department or another appropriate internal resource. Notify them of the violations and provide supporting documentation. Some employers may be unaware of the violations and will take steps to rectify the situation.

Document Communication
Document all communication related to the unpaid hours worked issue. Keep a record of the dates, individuals involved, and the content of conversations or emails exchanged with your employer or HR department. This documentation will help establish a timeline and demonstrate your efforts to address the issue internally.

File a Complaint with the Appropriate Agency
If internal efforts fail to resolve the issue, you may need to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and state labor departments handle wage and hour violations. File a complaint detailing the unpaid hours worked violations, providing supporting evidence and documentation.

Consult with an Employment Law Attorney
Seek the guidance of an experienced employment law attorney who specializes in wage and hour claims. They will help assess the strength of your case, explain your legal rights, and guide you through the legal process. An attorney will advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you are owed.

Explore Legal Remedies
Your attorney will help you explore legal remedies available to you. This may include filing a lawsuit against your employer for unpaid wages, overtime pay, and other damages resulting from the unpaid hours worked violations. They will guide you through the process, representing your interests and seeking fair compensation.

Document Damages
Document the financial losses you have suffered due to unpaid hours worked. This includes calculating the unpaid wages, overtime hours, and any additional damages such as interest, penalties, or attorney fees. Your attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim for damages.

Class Action Lawsuits
In cases where multiple employees have faced unpaid hours worked violations, joining or initiating a class action lawsuit may be an option. Class actions allow employees in similar situations to collectively pursue their claims and increase their chances of success.

Preserve Evidence
Continue to preserve any evidence related to the unpaid hours worked violations. This includes timesheets, pay stubs, emails, and any other documents that support your claim. Safeguarding this evidence is crucial for the success of your case.


Unpaid hours worked can have a significant impact on employees’ financial well-being. By understanding your rights, keeping detailed records, and taking appropriate steps, you can pursue your claims for unpaid wages and seek the compensation you deserve. Consulting with an employment law attorney will provide you with the necessary legal expertise to navigate the process effectively and ensure your rights are protected.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with an employment law attorney for professional advice related to your specific situation.

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We are not afraid to litigate and take cases to trial, and have trial experience. We are relentless and we win. Clients also have first-hand access to our attorneys who are available day or night and will even provide you with their cell phone numbers. Case updates come straight from your attorney rather than paralegals or staff members.

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