Do I have a case if the Church doesn’t pay me?

I am a low income individual seeking justice. I was hired by a Church without signing contract, I only filled out W-4 form and made a verbal agreement. In less than 2 months my pay rate was reduced by 50% about $200 a month, which is significant amount for me. I quit. They didn’t give any response to my emails. I still haven’t received my paycheck from last month. They may not pay me at all. If so, do I have a case?

Asked on March 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

1) They could reduce your pay rate unless you had a written contract locking in or guarantying the rate. In the absence of a written contract, the employer has 100% control over you pay.
2) No matter what, they had to pay you at least minimum wage: if they didn't, you can sue for the difference between what you were paid and minimum.
3) And they have to pay you for all work you did: if the don't pay you at all for some of the work, you can sue them for that.
If the total amount involved is less than or equal to the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims, as your own attorney or "pro se," is the best way to go.


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