Late Payment of Wages - The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou, PLLC | Unpaid Wages - Bankruptcy - Personal Injury

Late Payment of Wages

Everyone knows they are owed their paychecks on their regular payday, but what happens if your employer does not pay you on time? Your bills keep coming and your family still needs to eat just because your employer hasn’t paid you. So, what are you to do if you are experiencing late payment of wages?

Late Payment of Wages

Everyone knows they are owed their paychecks on their regular payday, but what happens if your employer does not pay you on time? Your bills keep coming and your family still needs to eat just because your employer hasn’t paid you. So, what are you to do if you are experiencing late payment of wages?

The Fair Labor Standards Act
If you were not paid on your regular payday, you may have a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA is a federal law which requires that employees are paid at least the minimum wage for all hours that they worked and at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek, ON TIME!

If you have not been paid on your regular pay day at any point in the last three years, you could be entitled to an amount of money equal to your wages. Late payment of wages can significantly set you back even if you eventually received your paycheck. That’s why it’s important to speak with an attorney about your rights.

Not only could you be entitled to money, but any other employee who is similarly situated to you who was also not paid on time could be entitled to money. The FLSA has a collective action procedure which allows any one or more employees to come together to vindicate their rights. Once an employee files a claim for a violation of the FLSA, the employee can ask the court for authorization to send a notice to the home of those other similarly situated employees to let them know that they can join the case as well, if they so choose. This is what is called a notice of right to join an FLSA case. Anyone who then joins the employee’s case can also potentially receive an amount of money equal to their wages.

Any employee who takes the initiative to vindicate the rights of other employees similarly situated to them by filing a collective action lawsuit could be entitled to a service award. Service awards typically range between $1,000 and $10,000 depending on factors such as the size of the collective action and how involved the employee was in the litigation. A service award is not guaranteed, but courts do award them in an effort to make sure the employee who made the effort to right the employer’s wrong was compensated for their hard work, time, and bravery. Lawsuits can be time-consuming and take a lot of effort on the part of an employee, but when employees join together through a collective action, they can make quite the impact to improve the conditions of a workplace.

Additionally, the FLSA provides that an employer who violates an employee’s rights must also pay for that employee’s attorney’s fees and costs. That means if your FLSA rights have been violated, your employer must pay your attorney’s fees and the costs of your litigation. You can seek the money you are owed from your employer through a lawsuit at no cost to you.

Even if you do not work for an employer who violated your rights anymore, you can still file a lawsuit to recover damages in the form of money for the late payments of wages that were made to you at any time in the last three years. You do not have to be a current employee to vindicate your rights.

Consequences of Not Being Paid On Time
When Congress enacted the FLSA, it knew that employees relied on their wages to support themselves and their families. It also knew that if employees were not paid on their regular payday, they were likely to incur debt and potentially incur fees and fines for late payments. Because of this, not only are employees owed back wages, they are owed what is called a liquidated damage. Liquidated damage is a set amount of money that is owed to a person if a law is violated or a contract is breached. Congress set the amount of liquidated damages as the same amount of the back wages under the law. It is meant to compensate the employee and help her or him mitigate the damage done when employers pay employees late.

The problem Congress recognized in the 1930s persists today. It is estimated that approximately 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. This is the reality that we live in. When an employee does not receive her or his paycheck on time, it has real world consequences and puts people’s financial stability at risk. This is why it is so important that employees have the power to vindicate their right to be paid on time through the FLSA.

It’s not uncommon for us to hear stories of employees needing to file bankruptcy due to the debt they incurred as a direct result of not being paid correctly under the FLSA. In fact, that is how the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou began specializing in wage and hour law. Many of our bankruptcy clients were experiencing FLSA violations, and that had a snowball effect which led to the deterioration of their financial stability. The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou is in a unique position to help employees protect their checks by helping them receive money for their rights being violated at work. If need be, we can also help them file for bankruptcy due to the consequences of late payment of wages.

Typical Violations
A typical problem we see with late wage payments is an employer not paying an employee for all the hours they worked in a pay period on the regular payday. The company may end up paying for that time on the next paycheck or, even worse, further down the line. This practice can be a violation of the FLSA.
Courts Recognize the Right to be Paid On Time
FLSA cases for late wages are not new. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that wages are due to employees “on time,” as shown by the 1945 case of Brooklyn Sav. Bank v. O’Neil. In the 1990s and 2000s, courts around the country found that “on time” means an employee’s regular payday and that an employee’s claim accrues as of that date. This is demonstrated by the cases of Howard v. City of Springfield, Rogers v. City of Troy, and Biggs v. Wilson, among others.

These late payment of wages cases have recently received a significant amount of media attention due to the 2013 and 2018-2019 federal government shutdowns. In the 2017 case of Martin v. United States, a federal court found that employees who were not paid during the 2013 government shutdown were entitled to money for the paychecks they received late. A similar suit has been filed more recently on behalf of the federal governmental employees who were forced to work without pay during the federal government shutdown. Even though these employees were eventually paid their paychecks, they could still be entitled to a significant amount of money for the government’s failure to pay them on their regular pay day.

Courts have also found that the late payment serving as the basis of the violation did not have to be paid as late as the payments in the federal government shutdown examples. In the case of Athan v. United States Steel, a federal district court in Michigan found allegations that employees were paid one pay period later than their regular payday was enough to go forward with an FLSA case.

Law Office of Bryan Yaldou’s Experience
The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou has experience with late payment of wages cases and has sued large companies like U.S. Steel for policies and practices that result in employees being paid later than their regular payday. We have been able to get notice sent out to all of the employees who were affected by payroll policies that result in employees being paid past their regular payday. The notice explained the employee’s opportunity to vindicate her or his rights and receive the liquidated damages she or he was potentially owed for the company’s failure to pay the employees on the regular payday.

While many law firms help employees who have never been paid at all, the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou specializes in helping employees who were not paid on time, even if they were eventually paid past their payday. These late payment of wages cases present different obstacles which our experienced office knows how to address. We pride ourselves in providing this benefit to our neighbors who trust us to vindicate their rights.

A significant amount of our practice involves helping our clients and the other employees who worked with them receive the money they are owed under the FLSA through collective action cases. FLSA collective action cases are incredibly complex and present a plethora of procedural issues not present in single employee cases. This experience qualifies us to help you and your coworkers with your wage and hour needs.

Set Up a Free Consultation
Being paid late has serious, detrimental consequences to your and your family. You know that, we know that, Congress knows that, and judges know that. If you have been paid at a time later than your regular pay day, call us today at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation. We can access whether we can help you get back the money you may be owed.

Call us today at (734) 692-9200!

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