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25K in unpaid wages by government contractor computer software company North Carolina

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  • 25K in unpaid wages by government contractor computer software company North Carolina

    My husband was terminated after approaching his employer about the payment of back wages that were owed from October 2009 until current. The total amount owed is over $25,000, including overtime wages. We have reported the case to the NC DOL and have submitted supporting documents. The investigator informed us that she is working on cases submitted in September 2010 and that we had an option file through the court system. Our family is struggling financially since my husband was the only source of income. What would be the quickest way to recover his back wages? If I go through the court system, would we have to hire an attorney? Responses would be much appreciated.

    Gina

  • #2
    Your state is not my state, so this will be a soft answer.
    - If the wage claim is legally "easy", then the traditional preferred recovery path is to file a wage claim with state DOL. Now, I have no idea what your state's DOL rules are like, and I have not hard examined the quality and details of your claim against state law. There is maybe an upper limit on claims (or not). There maybe is a limit on what types of claims. While you do not need an attorney to handle a claim with state DOL, you may indeed need a local expert to hard review your actual claim and see exactly what your real options are.
    - Federal DOL is a possible recovery option. Does not need an attorney, but is generally limited to minimum wage and overtime claims only.
    - Small claims court is a possibility. No lawyer required, but there is generally an upper amount limit of the claim, and depending on the exact nature of your claim, there may be limits on what part of the claim can be handled in this venue.
    - Which leaves a general court action. Which certainly requires an attorney. This has the best choices for limits and lack or restrictions on the types of claims. Conversely, attorneys do indeed cost money.

    I am NEVER going to be expert in NC law, so that is off the table as far as this answer is concerned. I can say if you were asking this question in a state that I knew something about, my follow up questions would be related to exactly what type of wages you are talking about. Examples:

    IF you are being treated as a non-exempt employee, THEN it would be very difficult for the employer to argue minimum wage or overtime claims. Meaning federal or state DOL would be great venues.

    IF however you are being treated as some flavor of exempt, then the employer will be arguing that no OT was ever due. Meaning that you not only need to prove hours worked, but you also have to prove the non-exempt status. We are still talking about federal or state DOL as likely venues, but the task gets a lot harder.

    IF however you are talking about bonus payments or commissions or raises promised but not given, things just got VERY complicated. We are no longer looking at federal or state DOL being the most likely venues and we really need someone expert to take a hard look at all facts prior to picking venues. Now whether or not that means an attorney holding hands through out the process is something else.

    It is difficult getting good answers to potentially complex questions on a free Internet website. Especially if you are talking about unpaid wages that are not legally obvious, and whose resolution would be specific to state law.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      I might mention that the max. amount allowed to sue for in small claims court in NC is
      $5,000.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        http://www.nclabor.com:80/wh/fact%20...ecomplaint.htm

        File wage claim info NC - however, you cannot file in small claims court due to amount.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Additional Information

          I should include that my husband was an h-1b visa worker at the time. His Labor Condition Application stated $X dollars per hour, but he was not paid according to the listed amount. The unpaid wages consist of straight wages and overtime wages. The company was going through financial difficulty and cut the wages of all visa workers. Additionally, he was a non-exempt employee and we have copies of his timesheets as well as his pay stubs. I truly appreciate the feedback. Thank you!

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