What can I do if I’m not being paid what I’m owed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I’m not being paid what I’m owed?

I clock 80 hours per pay period. Anything over the owner writes a personal check to avoid overtime. He has been shorting me 24 hours per pay period and owes $13,224 for the last year. He says he is only going to pay $1,500. What can I do to get the money owed? Is this tax evasion as well? Do I need to be paying taxes from the personal checks?

Asked on April 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you must pay your taxes on any earned wages. So if your employer is not withholding them as he should, then you are responsible for paying them. As for collecting what is owed you, any hours workd over 40 must be paid as overtime if you are a non-exempt employee (typically one who is paid hourly). If you are not being compensated as provided by law, you can either sue your employer and/or file a wage claim with your state's department of labor. At this pont, you can also consult directly with an employment law attorney who can advise you further.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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