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 theirminimum 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 anemployment 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 of success. Contact us today to learn about your rights and how you can get a FREE initial consultationwith our team.