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How to Recover Unpaid Wages During the COVID-19 Pandemic

— May 26, 2020

If you do decide to continue with the proceedings, trust that your lawyer knows wage theft laws thoroughly.

The truth of the matter is that COVID-19 isn’t just directly impacting the health sector. In fact, it has given rise to enormous challenges in just about any industry. With businesses striving to keep afloat, the workforce takes the brunt of the financial crisis that befalls their employers. Between furloughs and retrenchments, the stress has undeniably been building up at home and in your company.

So, with your financial stability in question during this global pandemic, what exactly are your legal rights?

To answer this, allow us to paint you a picture: You’ve been a model employee in all your years with your company. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, it doesn’t seem as if your employers recognize your loyalty and have straight-up refused your demands for compensation. If this sounds like your current situation, then rest assured that the law is on your side. According to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are legally required to pay for overtime work.

So, how exactly do you fight for your right and recover all the unpaid hours that are due to you? This is where the specialty of unpaid overtime attorneys can be helpful. If you find yourself hitting walls and being blocked by dozens of company hurdles whenever you ask for just compensation for your overtime, it’s time to seek legal assistance from advocates who can best help you during these particularly trying times.

COVID-19 graphic
COVID-19 graphic; image courtesy of Matryx via Pixabay,

Of course, you may be toying with the idea of simply letting this slide. After all, there is the global COVID-19 pandemic on the rise, and your employers may simply use it as an excuse to get out of their responsibilities of paying you. But the thing about good legal advocates, such as the ones from MA Employment Lawyers, is that they can help you discern whether these excuses are acceptable or not under the law.

With that in mind, what exactly are the steps that you can take to begin your compensation claim for your overtime? We’ve outlined the first steps to jumpstart the recovery of your unpaid overtime wages.

Step 1: Determine if you are eligible for overtime pay.

First of all, you need to be made aware of the acceptable excuses that employers may claim during this pandemic. These are the following circumstances that are not acceptable even during this time:

  • Your employer may suddenly claim that you are exempt for compensation even though you are sure that you don’t fit in that category
  • Your employer still expects you to work without pay
  • Your employer claims that overtime pay will not be handed out simply because the company cannot afford it due to cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Step 2: Explore your legal options.

If you and your legal advocate have determined that you are indeed eligible to recover unpaid overtime wages, your lawyer will then come up with a strategy to encourage your employer to take legal responsibility for your payment.

Although this step is generally dependent on your lawyer, he or she still needs to discuss your legal options so you can make better-informed decisions. Likely, he or she will assure you that there is a reasonable cause for a case because of the violation of your rights.

Step 3: Proceed with the case (or retract your claims).

With your case now in full swing, you must know that you have the option not to proceed. Still, with so many employers getting away with skirting labor laws, understand that you are fighting not just for your compensation, but for justice, too.

If you do decide to continue with the proceedings, trust that your lawyer knows wage theft laws thoroughly. Ideally, they should be able to look after your best interest. This is why you need to make sure that you have chosen the right ally in recovering your unpaid overtime wages. 

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