The first step in determining how much you might be entitled to receive in unpaid wages is understanding how much you might have been underpaid by your employer. The Texas minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. If you calculate how many hours of work you put in and find that the hourly rate was below this amount, you might be entitled to make an unpaid wages claim against your employer. Furthermore, you are entitled to receive the hourly rate of pay you agreed to in your employment contract. If your employer later tries to pay you less than this agreed-upon amount, you may be entitled to make a claim for the difference.
Another type of unpaid wages claim is an unpaid overtime claim. Most workers who put in more than 40 hours’ work in a given week are entitled to receive their base hourly salary for every hour worked plus time and a half. Under Texas and federal law, employees have the right to receive at least minimum wage for the work they do and most workers are entitled to receive time and a half pay for overtime they work. Overtime is defined as any time above 40 hours worked in a given workweek. This means that if your base hourly rate is $10 an hour, if you work overtime, you would be entitled to receive $15 an hour for every overtime hour you work. Many workers in the oil industry and in other industries have learned that their employers, either through accounting errors or through employee misclassification, denied them the overtime hours they were entitled to receive, and in some cases workers learn that they didn’t even receive minimum wage for the hours they worked. Other workers may have been asked to work through lunch breaks, or asked to clock in early, or work after they clocked out. Yet others were asked to wait or travel without being compensated for their time.
If you think you might be entitled to receive unpaid wages, either because you were not paid the minimum wage, or because you were not paid for overtime, you may have the right to make a claim under the law. Moore & Associates is an unpaid wages and unpaid overtime law firm in Houston, Texas that may be able to assist you with seeking damages. The amount of money you can collect in damages for an unpaid wages claim will depend on how much money you were underpaid by your employer.
What Can You Collect in Damages?
In order to calculate the amount you might have been underpaid, you can look at how many hours you worked overtime, and multiply these overtime hours by time and a half your regular hourly rate. If you were required to work through breaks, like lunch breaks, you can also calculate these hours as hours worked. If you were required to travel to a worksite, or wait for equipment, this can also be counted as time worked. Your employer has a responsibility to track your time and if he or she failed to keep accurate records, you may be able to use your own records when estimating the overtime hours you worked.
In addition to claiming the unpaid wages, you are also entitled under Texas law to claim liquidated damages. You are entitled to liquidated damages in the amount you are owed in unpaid wages. This where an unpaid wages claim can really add up. If you are owed $5000 in unpaid wages, you will also be entitled to collect an additional $5000 in liquidated damages. This means that your total unpaid wages claim can be as much as $10,000. You may also be able to claim additional damages for attorneys’ fees and court fees. This is where having a lawyer on your side can be very helpful. Moore & Associates is an unpaid wages and unpaid overtime law firm in Houston, Texas that fights for the rights of workers.
Fight for Your Unpaid Wages in Houston, Texas
If you feel like your employer has unfairly taken advantage of you, or not paid you the wages you are owed, you may wonder what your next steps should be. Moore & Associates can review your case, help you calculate the unpaid wages or unpaid overtime you may be owed, and can then take steps to fight to collect the wages you might be entitled to receive. Sometimes workers may not fight back because they are afraid of retaliation from their manager or employer. You have important rights under the law. Contact Moore & Associates, an unpaid wages law firm in Houston, Texas today to learn more about these rights and how you can assert them. Or, reach out to USAttorneys.com to get matched with a lawyer at Moore & Associates today.