Employees deserve the wages they earn under the law. An employer is not permitted to refuse to pay wages lawfully owed to an employee under any circumstance. Unpaid wages can include reduced hours on your check, hours that are supposed to be paid at overtime rate or at minimum wage.
These unpaid wages may be recovered in a lawsuit.
Connecticut Unpaid Wages Lawyer
If you have been denied wages you earned, contact an attorney who can assist you in fighting for the pay you should have received. At Hayber Law Firm, we represent workers who have been denied wages they should have received. Fill out our online form today to contact a skilled Connecticut unpaid wages lawyer, who will review the details of your case.
Hayber Law Firm assists clients throughout Connecticut, including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, Greenwich, Milford, and Danbury.
Key Issues in Unpaid Wage Cases
If you believe you have not been paid wages you earned, answer a few key questions:
- Were you paid for all the time you worked?
- For all the time you worked, did you make at least the state minimum wage, currently $9.15 per hour?
- For any hours worked over 40 per week, did you get paid time and a half?
If the answer to any of these questions is “No” and you do not fit into certain narrow exemptions, you may have been deprived of wages you earned.
Information on Recovering Unpaid Wages
When you look at your paycheck, you may notice the amount of hours paid are less than the amount of hours worked. If your employer attempts to tell you that there’s a reason other than error, it is important to not simply take the excuse at face value. Unpaid hours can be the result of anything from misunderstandings of the law to outright wage theft. In either case, you are owed the money you earned.
For example, Joan is a gardener in Putnam. One day, her supervisor says her work during is shoddy and rushed, and that she could not have spent eight hours doing it. He says he will dock her pay two hours. This is against the law. While the supervisor may discipline Joan, he may not do so by docking her pay.
In some situations, employers refuse to pay employees for time spent engaging in necessary work activities. These times could include donning and doffing safety gear and important equipment, or traveling from one work site to another. Whether or not these times should be paid depends on the circumstances involved. In Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp., for example, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that worked must be paid for time donning and doffing safety equipment, like goggles, but not “clothing,” even if necessary for work, like heat-resistant jackets.
“Wage theft” is a concept that is not defined in the law and can apply to a broad range of subjects, but generally means intentionally avoiding paying an employee what he or she is owed. Restaurant workers are often the victims of wage theft, but it can happen in any field.
Under state law, all employees must make at least the minimum wage. Connecticut’s minimum wage is currently $9.15 per hour. In 2016, it will rise to $9.60, will rise again in $10.10 in 2017. There are a few exceptions to this law, like waitstaff, who can be paid less than the minimum wage because they get tips.
Unless a worker meets certain narrow exemptions, a person must also be paid time-and-a-half his or her normal rate for all hours over 40 worked per week.
Sometimes an employer may try to avoid paying overtime or even the minimum wage by misclassifying the employee, either as someone who is exempt from the law and can, therefore, be paid on a salary basis or as an independent contractor. Both of these have very narrow definitions under the law, however.
If you missed out on being paid the proper rate, you are owed the money you should have been paid.
Hayber Law Firm | Connecticut Employment Attorney for Your Unpaid Wage Case
If you have not been paid wages you lawfully earned, you can sue to recover your unpaid wages. A dedicated Connecticut employment lawyer at Hayber Law Firm can help you. Fill out our online form today so that we can review the details of your case.