How to get paid wages owed me?

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How to get paid wages owed me?

I work in the home health industry. Lately my employer has claimed that Medicaid did not issue out funds so they were unable to pay us. They currently owe me about 4 back paychecks because of this. I was supposed to get pain on the 3rd and on the 10th but I have not gotten paid. They still expect us to work when we are not getting paid. Can they fire me if I don’t have the money to get to work with due to no paycheck? Who can I contact about this so this mess can get sorted out? Also can an employer pay below minimum wage? We do not get tips or anythings but we are only paid $6.80 an hour.

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an employment law attorney--you may have several causes of action.

1) It does NOT matter if they have not been paid by Medicare--they still have to pay their employees. Their obligation to pay you is not contingent on their own payment. If they won't pay you, you can sue the company for the wages owed you.

2) I don't believe you can be fired for bringing a legal action to enforce your right to be paid for the work you did, but you should discuss your situation in detail with an attorney first, before taking action, to confirm this--though on the other hand, if  you are not being paid, how valuable is your job?

3) There are some exceptions to minimum wage which apply to certain home health aids, but they are narrow exceptions--most workers must be paid at least minimum. Unless you fall squarely under one of those exceptions, you need to be paid minimum wage. This is something else to discuss with an attorney, to see if your specific job falls under one of the exceptions.

As stated above, ideally you should speak with a lawyer in detail about the specifics of your situation. If you cannot afford an attorney, or there is not enough money at stake to make it worthwhile, try contacting your state department of labor--they may be able to help you.


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