How likely is it that I actually get unpaid wages?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How likely is it that I actually get unpaid wages?

I worked for this restaurant but only for maybe a week and then the owner said he was going to pay me for a trial period for which he never did. I gave him short notice that I was quitting. We went back and forth about these hours for 3 weeks he told me he was holding my check until then for the short

notice quit. He would be selective about what he would answer through text but act like we were on the same page when I called him. I hadn’t been clocking in because I didn’t know how to and we had discussed my hours. I just wanted to know what we’re my chances of winning an unpaid wage claim with the limited proof I had? On paper it’s he said, she said.

Asked on March 22, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When there is no written documentation of work done or amounts owed it is, as you say, "he said, she said." While technically, as the person suing (plaintiff), you have the burden of proof, that burden is a slight one: it essentially is 50-50, in that if you are more credible or persuasive than your employer, you can win. If the amount at stake is less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims, as your own attorney ("pro se") is a very good option: you will risk only your own time and a modest filing fee (usually around $50) in exchange for the possibility of recovering your wages.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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