Recovering Unpaid Wages in Pennsylvania

Are you owed unpaid wages by your employer in Pennsylvania?

When your employer isn’t fairly compensating you for your time, it can put a lot of pressure on you and your family. Fortunately, Pennsylvania employees have substantial rights in seeking to recover unpaid wages.

Read on to learn more about how you can determine whether you’re owed back wages, as well as what you can do to recover the money you are owed if you’re an employee in Pennsylvania.

How do I know if I’m owed “unpaid wages” in Pennsylvania?

Whether you’re a part-time or full-time employee, there are a number of instances where back wages are owed.

For example, when an employer doesn’t pay what you have earned, you could either be unpaid entirely or “short-changed”, meaning you received less than you were entitled to be paid.

In another example, employees who are forced to work “off the clock” are entitled to be paid, even if the employer claims otherwise.

For any of the above, an employee is well situated to recover all amounts due if he/she has kept a personal record of hours worked including, clock in/out times, breaks, overtime and “off the clock” time. It is also of assistance if a manager or supervisor has signed off on timecards or other supporting materials showing the number of hours worked.

Note: Employers in the state of Pennsylvania are required to provide employees with a 30-minute lunch break after five hours of work. If an employee works longer than five hours and does not receive the minimum 30-minute lunch break, the employer has violated the law.

Understand Pennsylvania Minimum Wage

No person may be compensated less than current minimum wage. For 2015, Pennsylvania follows Federal Law and sets minimum wage at $7.25 ($2.83/hr. for tipped employees such as food servers and bartenders). Even for tipped employees, total compensation (tips plus hourly rage) cannot be less than $7.25, or the employer is obligated to pay the difference.

For Pennsylvania employees working more than 40 hours per week, the employer must pay overtime. Some jobs do not qualify, specifically highly compensated employees on salary, such as lawyers and doctors.

More information about your rights to overtime pay is available on the PA Department of Labor website.

Bring the issue to your employer

Before contacting a lawyer, make an attempt to resolve the unpaid/underpaid wages claim with your employer. Often times the problem can be a simple mistake, and if you can obtain payment amicably, everyone is served.

Even if you are angry or have just discovered the underpayment/non-payment of wages, do not confront your employer unless you are calm and can be civil, polite, and respectful. If you are unable to make progress, it is time to take legal action.

Determine whether you have a claim

To learn whether your claim qualifies under Pennsylvania (PA) and Federal Law, contact us or try our Unpaid Wage Claim Checker.

We evaluate claims on an individual basis. We may be able to help you or point you in the right direction.

Use our Unpaid Wage Claim Checklist

If you have already found that you are owed unpaid wages and have exhausted informal means to resolve the issue with your employer, check our Unpaid Wage Claim Checklist.

This tool will help you organize the facts to pursue the claim. We offer tips and suggestions to ensure the proper procedures are followed when preparing a claim.

Retain a consumer attorney

We offer legal representation for Pennsylvania unpaid wage claims free to you. This is because the law entitles the employee to payment of all reasonable legal fees and costs incurred in collecting money owed by an employer.

We make every effort to provide quality, responsive, and attentive legal representation for all clients.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to get what you’re owed today. Call 1-800-NOT-FAIR (1-800-668-3247).

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