Approaching your employer about unpaid wages can be intimidating. If it was simply an oversight, your supervisor may be incredibly apologetic and see to it that you get paid as soon as possible. But if there’s a more malicious reason for the missing funds, your employer may simply ignore your inquiry, and you will have to take legal action.
If you’ve decided to take legal action, you may fear that your employer will retaliate by firing or demoting you. Fortunately, there are laws in place to prevent businesses from firing employees who hold them accountable for their misdeeds.
If your employer owes you unpaid overtime and you want to file a wage claim, contact Moore & Associates. We have nearly 15 years of experience handling employment law cases. Call 713-581-9001 to schedule a consultation with a Houston unpaid overtime attorney.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing a Wage Claim?
Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing an overtime wage claim. Although Texas is an employment-at-will state, terminating an employee over a wage claim would be considered discrimination.
Employers who discriminate against employees who have filed a complaint could face fines and even criminal prosecution. Additionally, employees who have been let go as the result of said discrimination may be eligible to receive reinstatement, promotion, lost wages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
How Can I Prove That My Employer Terminated Me Unlawfully?
If your employer fired you after you submitted a wage claim, you need to prove that it was a case of illegal retaliation in order to get reinstated and collect benefits like lost wages and court costs. Because Texas is an at-will state, you need to demonstrate that the wage claim did in fact motivate your employer to terminate or demote you. Otherwise, you will not have a valid case.
Once you find a way to prove discrimination, your employer will likely try to demonstrate that they had some other reason for letting you go. It is then up to you to prove that their alleged reason is merely a cover-up for the illegal retaliation.
What If I Do Not Want to Return to My Old Position?
An employer who withholds overtime wages and then takes retaliatory measures against its employees for holding the company accountable may not be a company that you want to work for in the long-term. Thus, you may not necessarily want your old position back after the termination; however, unemployment is likely not the only damage you incurred when the company fired you.
By pursuing legal action following the unlawful termination, you can hold your employer accountable for their illegal practices. You can also recover benefits like lost wages and unpaid overtime.
If you were not paid for overtime in Houston but you are not sure how to proceed, contact Moore & Associates. Call 713-581-9001 to schedule a case evaluation with an unpaid overtime attorney. You can learn more about employment law in Texas by visiting the USAttorneys website.