If my former employer isn’t paying me what he told me he would in my interview, what can I do?

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If my former employer isn’t paying me what he told me he would in my interview, what can I do?

I recently quit a job after working there 8 days because my employer seemed kind of shady. At the interview for the job we agreed upon a certain hourly wage that I would be paid. After I quit he told me to come back the following week to get paid. I did. When I asked him for my money he asked me how much he owed me, which concerned me because I thought he should be keeping track. I told him how many hours I worked and what that would come out to with the amount we agreed on hourly. He said he never agreed on that wage and insisted on a much lower hourly wage. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you must be paid for all hours worked at the agreed upon rate; also, an oral or verbal agreement as to the wage or rate is enforceable.

Practically, yoiu have several problems:

1) Proving the rate and the terms of the agreement can be very difficult, if you and the only other witness disagree (in the future, when possible, get wages, etc. in writing).

2) If you want to collect more than he is willing to pay, you will have to sue him, which will cost you time and money (though in small claims court, it would not be much money if you represent yourself).

This may be a case where you are best off accepting what he is willing to pay and moving on, since it could be difficult to collect the additional money that you believe you are owed.


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