Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Steps to Filing a minimum wage claim

All employers are required by state and federal laws to provide the minimum wage to its workers and employees. If an employer would not comply, an employee may file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner’s office) or file a lawsuit in court against the employer to recover for lost wages.

If the claim is made, the government representative will do the following tasks:

• Meet with the employer
• Access the payroll records
• Talk with the employees
• Assess any possible violations

Enforcement and Sanctions

Under the law, the Department of Labor will require the employer to compensate the worker for back pay. The department also has the power to:

• Fine employers who do not comply with the law
• Prosecute non-complying employers
• Make erring employers pay attorney’s fees
• Make employers pay “liquidated damages”

Many states have their own wage collection statutes that provide for back wages, attorney’s fees, and statutory damages. These laws vary significantly from state to state.
These are the steps to take to obtain your minimum wage claim:

1. Submit claim to the labor commissioner’s office - After your claim is completed and filed, a Deputy Labor Commissioner will determine, based upon the circumstances of the claim and information presented how best to proceed. Initial action taken regarding the claim can be referral to a conference or hearing, or dismissal of the claim.

2. Conference - The purpose of the conference is to determine the validity of the claim, and to see if the claim can be resolved without a hearing. If the claim is not resolved at the conference, the next step usually is to refer the matter to a hearing or dismiss it for lack of evidence.

3. Decision - After the hearing, an order, decision, or award (ODA) of the Labor commissioner will be served on both parties.

Either party may appeal the ODA to a civil court of competent jurisdiction. The court will set the matter for trial, with each party having the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. The evidence and testimony presented at the Labor Commissioner’s hearing will not be the basis for the court’s decision. In the case of an appeal by the employer, DLSE may represent an employee who is financially unable to afford counsel in the court proceeding.

In pursuing a minimum wage claim, it is best to have the services of an employment lawyer who specializes in minimum wage claims. His skills and experience in handling cases in his area of specialization would improve your chances of success.

Get to know more about filing claims for minimum wage with the help of employment attorney services claims.

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