Are you bringing home less at the end of your pay schedule than you anticipated?
Are you finding unexplained gaps in your hours worked? What about random
little deductions that you don’t recognize or remember? If you answered
yes to any of these questions, your employer might be engaging in unlawful
hour or wage violations.
One of the most common ways to try to cheat an employee out of their fair
pay is by reducing their
minimum wage under the acceptable limit. The Texas minimum wage is currently equal
to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, so there is no excuse for
it to ever be less than that after calculations and legal deductions.
You might need to file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission
(TWC), which is a part of the United States Department of Labor (DOL).
Here’s what you should do if you think you need to file a claim in Texas:
Run your own numbers: First things first, if you have access to a recent paycheck or a few of
them, do some quick calculations to see if things aren’t adding
up. A significant gap in what you should be earning and what you are actually
being given can be indicative of an employer that is intent on taking
employee wages through subtle wage reductions.
Keep it private: Going straight to your boss with a wage violation complaint might not
be the best idea in each circumstance. A dishonest employer might spring
at the chance to destroy evidence of their wrongdoing, or even
terminate you in retaliation. That would trigger an
employment law dispute of an entirely different kind.
Gather information: The more information you can give the TWC or DOL, the better. They are
going to need to know basic contact information for yourself and your
employer, as well as a description of the work you did and your agreed
upon pay schedule. You should also get copies of paychecks or pay stubs,
any evidence of your work schedule or punches, and anything else you think
could be helpful, such as the calculations you probably created in step 1.
Talk to an attorney: It is widely recommended that you speak with an employment law attorney
once you think you have everything collected, or if you need help finding
useful documents. With a second set of professional eyes on your claim,
you can be confident that your petition will be taken seriously and reach success.
Submit the wage claim form: Your minimum wage dispute must be filed within 180 days since the last
incident of a missing pay. With your lawyer’s help, you can file
your claim using an online service or by mailing it in directly to the
TWC. Online submittals could require scanned copies of paychecks but may
also require physical pay stubs to be mailed in at a later date.
If you need legal representation or counsel along any part of the filing
process, Moore & Associates are here to help clients in situations
just like yours. People know they can trust our Houston employment law
attorneys due to our 15+ years of legal experience and great track record
Contact us today to learn about your rights and how you can get a
FREE initial consultation with our team.