Your Employer Didn’t Pay You: What to Do
January 22, 2020
When you spend 40 or more hours per week doing hard work for your employer, a lack of compensation for your services is bound to leave you feeling cheated and lost. Continue reading to find out what to do in order to get the compensation you are owed in New Jersey.
1.) Know if you are an independent contractor or employee. Independent contractors and employees are different types of workers who have different legal rights when it comes to payment. It is important to know which one you are before filing your claim. Independent contractors do not work directly for the company and are paid on an hourly or project basis. Employees work directly for the company, are under the complete control of their employer and are paid on an hourly or salaried basis.
2.) Submit a written request to your employer. Most employers do not have malicious intentions when they withhold employee payment. But regardless, you are providing a service to them, and they should compensate you for it. Take charge of the situation by submitting a written letter to your employer before moving further. Address the underlying issues and be sure to document the amount of time since you were last paid, as well as the hours you have worked (including any sick days, etc.). If you receive your paycheck on paper, attach copies of the most recent ones to help your employer keep track.
3.) File a complaint with the appropriate department. If a written documentation to your employer does not work, it is time to move up the ladder and contact the appropriate agency to file a complaint. If you are an employee, this agency is the New Jersey Wage & Hour Division. If your complaint is related to minimum wage or overtime, you can go even further up the ladder and contact the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Dept. Independent contractors should also write to their employer first, but if that does not work, they can take the case to small claims court, as long as they are requesting wages of $3,000 or less ($5,000 or less if the case relates to a security deposit payment). If the number is in excess of $3,000-5,000, you will have to take the case to a municipal or state court.
4.) Seek a mediator. Hiring a mediator can be a peaceful way to settle the case without having to deal with the hassle of a trial or wait for months for a decision from small claims court. A mediator will listen to both sides of the case and help you and your employer come to an agreement. This is a good option if the case is not so black-and-white because these are some of the hardest cases for judges to decide.
Give The GC Law Firm a call today, and our collections law specialists will help make sure that you get compensated for your hard work.