If my girlfriend was working as a hotel maid under-the-table and got underpaid by almost $500, what can we do?

Asked on August 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If she performed work, she must be paid for it, as per the agreement or terms (whether oral or written) pursuant to which she was working. If the employer won't pay her voluntarily, she could sue for the money in small claims court, acting as her own attorney.

Note that it is illegal to get paid under the table--that is, the wages have to be reported for tax purposes and FICA withholding at least must be taken out. If your girlfriend has been failing to report her wages, she has been herself violating the tax laws and could face liability for doing so--at a minimum, she will owe the taxes she should have paid, and possibly a penalty for failure to report.

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