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Filing a Complaint

If employees believe they have been underpaid, not given proper overtime, or their wages were deducted unfairly in violation of the federal or state law, they should contact their state’s department of labor and file their complaint. (A Form for filing a claim against discriminatory pay is available on this site.)

The labor department will investigate, and if they feel that the employee complaint is genuine, they will conduct an audit of the employer's wage payment policies. The complaint of the employee is kept confidential, so that there is little or no risk of retaliation.

If the employer is found violating federal or state wage and hour regulations, the employee (and other employees) is entitled to

  • collect calculated damages equal to the amount of the unpaid back wages.
  • If the department of labor does not pursue the matter, the employee can bring a private legal action against the employer. If successful, the employee is entitled to be reimbursed for attorney's fees and court costs.
know your rights now!