1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email

How to Collect Unpaid Wages

By

Definition: What happens when you aren't paid what you are supposed to be? How can you collect unpaid wages that are due you?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for recovering unpaid minimum and/or overtime back pay which is owed to you:

  • The Wage and Hour Division may supervise payment of back wages.
  • The Secretary of Labor may bring suit for back wages and an equal amount as liquidated damages.
  • An employee may file a private lawsuit for back pay and an equal amount for damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs.
  • The Secretary of Labor may obtain an injunction to restrain any person from violating the FLSA, including the unlawful withholding of proper minimum wage and overtime pay.
  • An employee may not bring suit under the FLSA if he or she has been paid back wages under the supervision of the Wage and Hour Division or if the Secretary of Labor has already filed suit to recover the wages.

Also, your State Department of Labor may be able to help with a claim for unpaid wages, so check the website for compliance assistance, as well.

For questions or compliance assistance contact:
Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
Wage and Hour Division
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
TTY: 1-877-889-5627

Related Articles: Wages and Salary Information | Pay and Paychecks | Employment Law

DISCLAIMER: The private web sites, and the information linked to both on and from this site, are opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only.

  1. About.com
  2. Careers
  3. Job Searching
  4. Salary / Benefits / Legal
  5. Employee Rights
  6. How to Collect Unpaid Wages

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.