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How does someone file a wage claim?

People go to work with a reasonable expectation to receive the payments owed to them. Unfortunately, not every employer in Idaho follows through on promises. Sometimes, an employer may try to “short” employees on overtime or may outright fail to pay them for hours worked. Workers could exercise their rights under the law to address grievances regarding pay and possible wage theft.

Violating the law could be theft

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws came into effect to deal with employers who don’t pay employees for their time worked or who fail to pay the appropriate amount. Not paying time-and-a-half when legally obliged could be an example of “shorting” a worker.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) exists to help workers with complaints. Under federal regulations, employees may file a claim through the WHD. Upon completing an investigation, the WHD may issue a ruling regarding the claim’s validity.

Idaho state laws provide options for workers to address wage claims. State law may differ from federal law. In Idaho, filing a claim with the Idaho Department of Labor eliminates options for a civil suit.

Sometimes, the amount might be small enough to settle in small claims court. In Idaho, small claims court won’t accept lawsuits over $5,000. Anything above that amount requires filing in district court. Plaintiffs for district court cases likely require the assistance and representation of an attorney.

Filing a claim for money owed

Working with an attorney during the early stages of a wage theft dispute might seem advisable. An attorney could review the specifics associated with the claim to determine legal validity. An independent contractor, for example, might not have a valid claim.

The attorney may also assist a client with the initial claim submission. Mistakes might undermine the claim process, and someone interested in receiving owed wages could find delays highly troubling. Unfortunately, errors may make problems unavoidable.

Evidence becomes necessary when filing a claim. An attorney might review evidence for sufficiency and could suggest providing additional documentation. Employment law statutes provide options for people seeking a remedy to wage theft. Working with an attorney could help those unsure of how to proceed.