What to do if my ex-employer is suing me for $18,000 in retaliation for filing a wage claim with the state?

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What to do if my ex-employer is suing me for $18,000 in retaliation for filing a wage claim with the state?

I have filed a case with the TX Labor Department about pending wage payment by my ex-employer. In retaliation to this case, my employer is now trying to sue me for $18,000. He has sent me a letter (not a legal notice from any attorney or court) saying that he is suing me and his attorney will contact me. He has not assigned any reason as to why he is suing me and what this $18,000 is all about. I am not sure what I should do now. Should I wait for his attorney to contact me or should I do something right now? Also, once the attorney contacts me or sends me a notice, how should I react/respond?

Asked on December 20, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Employers may *not* retaliate against an employee for filing wage and hour claims. Since, however, any lawsuit for $18k must be taken seriously--and since also, if they attempt to retaliate against you illegally, that itself may give you grounds to sue them--IF you are actually sued, you should retain a lawyer to both defend you and pursue counterclaims. On the other hand, if you are not actually sued--e.g. it's just bluster--there's no need to contact an attorney. In either case though, it would be a good idea to contact the TX Labor Dept., make them aware of the threat, and provide a copy of the letter to them as evidence. Good  luck.


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