Davis & Davis Is on Your Side
Boston Unpaid Wage Claims Lawyers
You know how hard you work for your wages, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling frustrated, angry, or annoyed when you aren’t actually paid. If you aren’t sure what to do if a current or former employer owes you money, though, you might wonder what you should do.
The answer is to call a lawyer for help, especially someone who is experienced with unpaid wage claims. With professional legal assistance at your back, you can finally stand up against your employer and have a better chance at getting what you’re owed.
At Davis & Davis, P.C., our unpaid wage claim lawyers in Boston can help you do this and more.
Five Considerations When You Need to File a Wage Complaint
1. Is There a Legitimate Off-Set?
If you took a loan from the company and did not pay it back, that would be a legitimate basis for the company to off-set wages. An “off-set” is a fancy legal term that justifies the company not paying your wages.
Not every off-set is legal, though. For example, in 2021, our firm won a judgment against a limo company for withholding an employee’s wages because the employee got in a fender-bender. The company did not have the type of insurance to cover the minor damage, so the company kept the employee’s tips to compensate for the cost of repair.
This type of off-set is illegal, and an experienced employment law attorney knows the difference between a legal and illegal off-set.
2. What Type of Money Is Owed?
This seems like a strange question, but it’s an important question. If the money owed is for unpaid salary, unpaid hourly rates, or unpaid commissions, then it falls under the statutory protection of the Massachusetts Wage Act. If the money is for something else, such as a quarterly or annual bonus or unpaid severance package monies, it is not statutorily protected.
While Wage Act claims are more lucrative, many times the employee is required to obtain a Private Right of Action from the Fair Labor Division of the Attorney General’s Office first, whereas non-Wage Act claims have no such requirement.
3. When Should You Make a Settlement Demand?
For Wage Act claims, to obtain the most leverage for the best possible result, it often makes more sense to bring a formal action and then contact the company regarding possible settlement.
If the money owed is not a statutory claim, such as an unpaid bonus, then it may make more sense to contact the company sooner regarding its interest in an early settlement.
4. How Do You Preserve Evidence?
Employees are allowed to engage in “self-help” efforts to preserve evidence that would support their unpaid wage claims. What you preserve and how you go about it, however, can have ramifications. Employees should exercise as much restraint as possible, recognizing that employers have rights and interests too, including – but not limited to – privacy rights.
5. How Do You Know Who to Trust for Help?
Employees should strongly consider going with an unpaid wage attorney in Boston that is highly experienced in employment law. If you have a problem with your heart, are you going to call your primary care doctor or a cardiologist?
Additionally, just because a law firm advertises that they practice employment law, you still need to perform your due diligence. Do your research. Then, when you have a shortlist of possible law firms, call up and interview the lawyer. An experienced lawyer will not offer legal advice to someone who is not a client, but an experienced unpaid wage claim lawyer should be able to demonstrate proficiency and knowledge.
Massachusetts Wage Claim Process
The state provides an online form where you can file a complaint. Because of the volume of complaints they receive, it often takes several weeks or longer before you will hear back on whether they will investigate a claim. If important information is inadvertently left off the form, you can damage your case.
Instead, rely first on our extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with Massachusetts employment law violations. Remember, successful claims also pay for attorney costs and litigation fees. We know what information to include and how to present the facts on the attorney general’s form.
We’ve represented clients for various wage law violations:
- Violations for unlawful withholding of tips and gratuities
- Failing to pay employees their full commission
- Failing to pay employees for working off-the-clock
- Misclassifying salaried employees as exempt from overtime
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
- Failing to pay employees for accrued vacation
- Protecting employees who are subjected to retaliation for asserting their rights
- Class actions representing dozens of similarly situated employees
It is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for making a wage claim.
Massachusetts Weekly Wage Law (the “Wage Act”)
When an employer violates the state’s employment laws, you may be eligible for three times (treble) what is owed to you as well as attorney’s fees (M.G.L. ch. 149 §150).
The Wage Act (M.G.L ch. 149 §148) includes the following requirements:
- Employees must be paid all wages they’ve earned on either a weekly or biweekly basis. Wages include commissions, nondiscretionary bonuses, and earned vacation.
- Employers must pay an employee on the day of discharge (terminated or laid off) all wages earned.
- Employers must pay an employee who resigns all wages on the next pay date or first Saturday after their employment ends.
Massachusetts Overtime Act
Employers generally must pay their employees 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek (M.G.L. ch. 151 §1A). Under certain circumstances, this law also applies to employees who earn a salary and some servers and other tipped employees.
Contact Our Boston Unpaid Wages Lawyer
If you are interested in getting to know us at Davis & Davis, P.C. and what our Massachusetts attorneys can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact us and request a consultation. Our unpaid wage claims attorneys in Boston are eager to learn more about your situation and offer ways in which you can proceed with us as a client.
Dealing with unpaid wages and looking to establish a claim? Schedule your consultation with Davis & Davis, P.C. by contacting us online now!
If you have questions, we can provide you with specific answers during a consultation, as the information on this page is not legal advice. We look forward to hearing your story and discussing your options moving forward.
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