Unpaid Wage Claim Statutes of Limitations
Honest work should be rewarded with honest pay. That’s the fair way for the world to work. Unfortunately, sometimes employers do not pay their workers on time. Sometimes they don’t pay at all. That’s when people in the greater Dallas and Carrollton, TX area should contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson. Our legal team has years of experience helping people with unpaid overtime cases and other kinds of wage claims.
While seeking the help of a lawyer, you should also file a formal claim against the employer. This can be done through state or federal authorities. Let’s consider the statute of limitations for filing these claims and for civil actions in court.
You Can File Federal and State Claims
When it comes to unpaid wages and unpaid overtime, you are able to file state an federal claims. State claims will be filed with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and federal claims will be filed with the Department of Labor.
Let’s cover the state claims first since the deadlines are much smaller. We’ll then consider federal claims for unpaid wages since you have longer to file those.
How Long Do I Have to File with the Texas Workforce Commission?
If you have an unpaid wages claim, it must be filed with the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days (six months). Any wages sought before that time will not be investigated. If 180 days have passed, you may wish to consider filing a federal claim with the Department of Labor.
The Texas Workforce Commission Claim Process
After investigating your claim, the Texas Workforce Commission will issue a Preliminary Wage Determination Order, ordering the employer to pay the wages owed. If the wages are still unpaid after 30 days, a collections unit will be sent after the employer.
If the employer appeals the Preliminary Wage Determination Order, the case will go to trial. The employer has just 21 days to appeal the order. Upon appeal, the case will go to trial.
How Long Do I Have to File with the Department of Labor?
You have much more time to file an unpaid wages claim with the Department of Labor than you do with the Texas Workforce. Federal statutes allow workers to collect unpaid wages of up to two years, and sometimes up to three.
The Process of Filing a Department of Labor Claim Claim
As with the Texas Workforce, the Department of Labor will investigate your claim to determine if federal wage or hourly pay laws have been violated. If the Department of Labor investigators find no violation of federal law, the person who filed the claim may still be able to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit
When filing a lawsuit to seek unpaid wages, you will liking be suing for breach of contract. In the state of Texas, a person has 4 years to file a lawsuit for breach of contract. This is an option to consider if state and federal investigations into you claims fall through.
Do Not Hesitate to File a Claim
Given the limited time to file with the Texas Workforce Commission, it’s important that you move ahead with your wage claim as soon as possible.
Additionally, while you may have two to three years to file a federal unpaid wages claim, you should not hesitate to get the process moving as soon as possible. The statute of limitations may run out before the investigation is complete, which may negatively impact your ability to seek those wages in court.
Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson
To learn more about your legal options when it comes to wages and other issues while you are on the job, be sure to contact an experience employment law attorney. We at the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can help you and explain all of your legal options. You can reach our law firm by phone at (214) 383-3606.