Houston, TX – It is possible that an employer asks for some kind of extra help or additional hours. However, the workers must also be paid at their normal rate, or they must receive overtime pay if this is in excess of forty hours.
As a general rule, all work done at the employer’s direction should be compensated. This is true even if it only seems like the company is asking for a favor or some kind of additional help outside of normal working hours. The employee should also not get into the habit of routinely doing this kind of labor without any expectation of pay.
Ways to avoid wage problems
Employers are required by law to keep records of all hours worked by their employees. If these records are not available for inspection, they may face various consequences
Workers should also be proactive and take certain steps to avoid illegal actions regarding their pay. They can check their paychecks or statements for things like illegal deductions or missing hours. Workers can also get into the habit of keeping some kind of basic documentation of their own hours, and check this against the employer’s records.
What if the employer refuses to pay?
If the worker has already contacted their supervisor, or another department such as human resources or payroll, and the issue has not been resolved, it may be time for them to take formal action. There are various local and state labor boards and commissions that enforce wage laws. The worker can also retain their own attorney and file a lawsuit for wage theft. The workplace may be sued, sanctioned, and face various other actions.
Damages for unpaid wages
A worker who has not been paid properly will at least be entitled to their outstanding pay, and their employer may also owe interest and back pay. The specific amount can depend on the amount of wages the worker lost along with other information relevant to the employer’s actions. When there have been ongoing wage issues at a company for an extended period of time, an investigation by a legal team can potentially cover thousands of dollars of missing wage for each worker affected. This is especially true for employers who do not understand labor laws and regulations or have various illegal practices built into their business model. If these issues are widespread, a government employment agency may get involved.
Local attorneys who focus on wage issues in Texas
Moore and Associates is an employment law firm in Houston. Their attorneys serve local clients who have issues related to unpaid wages, wage theft, overtime or minimum wage violations, harassment, and discrimination.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002