Your work is valuable, which is why you don’t do it for free. Your employer must compensate you for your time and effort. If they fail to pay you, you have the right to take legal action against them, as they may be committing wage theft. However, before you decide to file a wage claim, you must know when a person can do so.
When the employer does not respect the minimum wage rate
Minimum wage rates exist in the United States for a good reason. These rates protect workers and employees from unfair compensation. The minimum wage rate in Louisiana is $7.25 per hour, so you have the right to file a claim against your employer if you are receiving less than that.
When they don’t pay you for overtime
Louisiana does not have a specific law regarding overtime, but the federal law does cover it. Employers must pay their employees for every hour they work in excess of their weekly 40 hours. The employee must receive 1.5 times their regular rate pay for every extra hour they work. However, the following employees are not entitled to overtime pay:
- Sales or retail employees
- Administrative employees
- Professionals who are paid a salary
The rest of the workers and employees have the right to overtime pay. If you qualify, and your employer has not paid you your overtime, you can get what is rightfully yours by filing a claim.
When they don’t pay your wages upon discharge or resignation
If your employer fires you, they must pay you for the time you worked. Your employer must pay your due wages on the next regular payday or no later than 15 days following the date of the discharge. The same rules apply if you resign. If your employer does not pay you within the mentioned timeframe, they will have to pay you 90 days at your daily pay rate or pay you for each day they delayed your rightful wages, unless they had a good reason for not doing so.
If your claim is successful, your employer will have to pay your due wages, your attorney’s fees, and the court costs. They may also pay you an award if they did not pay you on time after your resignation or discharge. However, you must file the claim no later than one year after your employer’s violation of the law. Otherwise, you may not get your rightful wages. You have done the work, so you have the right to receive the lawful compensation that comes with it.