While many aspects of working in Texas are regulated by the state, the United States government protects certain rights in the workplace. For example, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires you to be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and be paid overtime at 1.5x your regular rate if you work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
If your employer does not pay you, underpays you, or fails to pay you on time, you can file a confidential complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. You may also be able to file a complaint with the state of Texas, assuming your employer violated state regulations, as well.
(Hint: your employer’s failure to pay you would definitely violate state regulations.)
Once you file a complaint (or complaints), the government(s) will investigate your claim. If your employer is found to have violated FSLA, they may be liable for:
- Liquidated damages,
- civil penalties,
- back pay,
- and any minimum wages or overtime compensation they failed to pay you.
Additionally, your employer may face criminal charges, which will be filed by the Department of Labor and could inspire penalties like fines and imprisonment.
How to File an FSLA Complaint
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administering and enforcing the FLSA. To file a claim with WHD, you will need the following information:
- Your name and contact information
- The name of the company where you work(ed)
- The location of the company (this may be a different place than where you performed the work)
- The company’s phone number
- The name of your manager (or the company’s owner)
- The type of work you did
- How and when you expected to be paid
- Proof of employment
- Any pay stubs or personal records of hours worked
For more information and frequently asked questions, click here.
Pursuing Recourse in Texas
Under the Texas Labor Code and Texas Payday Law, you are also entitled to minimum wage and overtime. Chapter 61 of the Texas Labor Code outlines exactly how and when you should be paid, as well as the penalties for an employer that fails to pay you.
If you need to submit a wage claim, you can do so via the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) within 180 days of the date your wages were due.
Forms can be submitted online or mailed to:
Texas Workforce Commission
Labor Law Section
101 E 15th St, Rm 514
Austin, TX 78778-0001
For questions, call TWC at 800-832-9243.
If, after taking action as outlined above, you have still not been compensated appropriately, or even if you just want to know more about your rights and the processes we discussed, The Law Offices of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC is here for you.