FAQ About Unpaid Wages

Every worker deserves to receive their fair pay for their work. If employers withhold pay, they are in violation of Texas employment law. If your employer isn’t paying you what you have earned, you may be able to file a claim for your unpaid wages. Learn more with these frequently asked questions regarding unpaid wages.

What Do I Do if My Employer is Withholding My Pay?

If your paychecks aren’t what they should be, you employer may be withholding wages from you. You are able to file an unpaid wage claim if you suspect you are being underpaid or are going unpaid. Your claim must be filed within 180 days of the day your pay was due. An experienced employment law attorney can help you determine if you should file a claim, and can assist you in doing so.

What are Allowable Deductions?

There are certain deductions your employer will make from your wages, which are allowed by law. These deductions include IRS withholding, repayment of a pay advance or loan from the employer, or contributions to a retirement fund. An employer cannot make these deductions unless:

  • They are ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction, such as for child support payments
  • Authorized to withhold pay by the state or federal government, such as IRS withholding
  • Authorized to do so in writing by the employee, and only for lawful purposes

What is Compensable Time?

Compensable time is the time for which you should be paid. Under Texas employment law, you must be paid for any time you are required to be on duty, on the employer’s premises, or at a prescribed work site. This includes meetings and training. Your employer doesn’t need to pay you for breaks over 30 minutes, but they must pay you for breaks under 20 minutes.

When Should I Be Paid?

Each employee must be paid at least once a month, but most employees must be paid twice a month. Semi-monthly pay periods should be split into as equal of periods as possible. If you quit your job, you must be paid your remaining wages on the next pay day. If you are terminated, you must be paid within 6 calendar days of your termination. Bonuses or commissions are due in a timely manner, but the specifics can be agreed upon by the employer and employee.

How Do I Submit a Wage Claim?

In order to file a claim for your unpaid wages, you must file a Wage Claim Form to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) within 180 days of your pay being due. The claim must be signed and declared as true. When the wage claim has been received by the TWC, you will be acknowledged by mail. After that, a response is requested from the employer in question, and a copy of the claim is submitted to the employer. The investigation will begin, and both sides may be contacted for further information. The TWC will make a decision based on the investigation, and will notify both the employees and employer by mail. Both parties have the right to appeal if they disagree with the decision.

If a decision has been made in the employee’s favor, the TWC will attempt to collect funds from the employer to pay the employee. If they are unable to do so, a lien will be placed as a permanent record of the debt owed to the employee, and any funds collected on behalf of the employee will be forwarded to the employee.

Pursuing unpaid wages can be a complex process, and if mistakes are made, you may be unable to recover your wages. A skilled Houston employment law attorney can guide you through the process and ensure that you have the best chances of recovering your rightful wages. At Moore & Associates, we will fight for your rights to your wages. Contact our firm today for a free case evaluation.