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Does an employer owe you money? How to check and claim unpaid wages


Do you have unclaimed wages?

Sarah Tew / CNET

Do you have unpaid wages that you can claim from the federal government? The Department of Labor recovered $ 257 million in back wages in 2020. The department recovered the money from employers who owed employees money by, for example, withholding overtime or paying below the minimum wage.

The Department of Labor’s wages and hours division has recovered the wages of more than 1.3 million workers in the past five years. If the government agency discovers that an employer owes you back wages, the company can pay the difference. However, if the agency can’t find you to give you the money (for example, you’ve moved or changed your name), it will hold the back wages so you can claim it.

We show you how to see if you have unpaid wages to recover and then how to claim it. In the meantime, here’s how to quickly tell if your state owes you money. If you have children, find your share of the Child discount of $ 3,600 and what two IRS portals I will do.

Why would the US government have my overdue payment?

If the wages and hours division of the labor department finds that an employer has violated the minimum wage for labor and overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it will try to get the unpaid wages back by the employer in full pay that he owes you.

If the DOL was unable to contact you, it will hold your back wages for three years. After that, it is required by law to send the money to the US Treasury. After that time you can no longer reclaim the wages.

How you can see if you can reclaim the wages

There is a quick and easy process to find out if there are any unpaid wages that you are entitled to claim.

1. Go to the DOL’s Workers Owed Wages search.

2. In the Search employer by name Enter the company name you may owe back wages and tap the WOW Search button.

3. If the search finds a match, the company name will be displayed in the results field. Select the company and tap The next.

4. In the next window, enter your first and last name and tap To send. If the tool determines that the division is holding unclaimed wages, you will be referred to a DOL office who can verify your information and then send a check for back wages.

How to claim unpaid wages from an employer

If you believe your employer has withheld wages not listed in the Workers Owed Wages tool above, you can file a complaint with the DOL. You must provide information such as salary, hours worked, and pay slips for the DOL to determine whether to initiate an investigation. You can also contact your country’s employment office to file a complaint.

cash with magnifying glass

You can file a complaint if you think your employer owes you money.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What are the minimum wage and overtime rules?

The federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 an hour. A state may have a higher minimum wage and, in a situation where an employee is subject to both federal and state wage laws, the employee may qualify for the higher minimum wage. Contact your national employment office for more information.

Employees subject to federal overtime regulation should receive one and a half times their normal pay after working 40 hours in a work week. Note that federal regulations do not require overtime pay for weekends or holidays unless the work on those days exceeds 40 hours in a work week. Note that state laws can define overtime differently. For example, California requires overtime to be paid after an eight-hour workday.

For more ways to keep track of the money the government owes you, here’s how to check your status income tax refund, how to get thousands back childcare expenses and how you can see how much you can expect to receive from July with monthly child discount payments.

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