- Legal Services
As employees, we all expect to be paid a fair wage for fair work. Whether we work for an hourly wage or are salaried, there are certain laws in place that protect workers on pay day. These laws cover many topics, from how often a worker must be paid to what needs to be done if employment ends.
A Tennessee wage theft lawyer represents clients whose payments were withheld by their employers. Experienced attorneys work to obtain the fair value of our clients’ labor through demand letters, agency complaints, and open litigation if necessary.
Most workers in Tennessee are required to be paid at least the minimum wage. Notable exceptions include waitstaff, bartenders, and anyone else whose earnings are supplemented with tips.
Tennessee is one of only five states in the country without its own minimum wage law. Because of this, the minimum wage is always the federal minimum, which is currently $7.25 per hour.
Hourly workers must be paid this sum for every hour worked up to 40 in a week. Once this 40-hour limit is passed, all pay must be issued at no less than $10.86 per hour. Any violation of this minimal level is grounds for a lawsuit for any lost wages.
Thankfully, violations of the minimum wage laws are rare. Far more common are instances of workers not being paid on time. Tenn. Code. Ann. § 50-2-103 (d) states that all workers must be issued a paycheck no less often than twice a month. Any time beyond this, and the employer is considered in arrears and may be sued.
When it comes to the rights employees have upon termination, the law is clear concerning when final wages must be paid.
According to Tenn. Code. Ann. § 50-2-103 (g), all outstanding wages must be paid to terminated workers no later than the next regular pay day. If the worker leaves by their own decision, this last payment may be extended to 21 days following the last day at work.
Our goal for all our clients is to get them the outcome they desire with as little stress as possible. Following this strategy, a useful first step is drafting a formal demand letter to the employer responsible for withholding wages.
These letters outline the facts of the case and demand that full payment be made as soon as possible. In many cases, simply seeing that an employee has engaged an attorney to investigate and pursue the claim is enough to pressure an employer to pay.
In situations where this is not successful, a wage theft lawyer can file official complaints with the appropriate state commissions that spearhead the investigations of all illegal business practices. These agencies have the power to investigate, adjudicate, and punish all employers who are found in violation of Tennessee employment law.
If these commissions do not find a violation, an employee may take their case to civil court. In these scenarios, our attorneys are prepared to argue your case from complaint to trial to final verdict.
Many workers may not understand their rights to fair pay under Tennessee law. Still, others may know their rights but be hesitant to speak up for themselves. Tennessee wage theft attorneys are here to be their voice. We understand Tennessee employment law and strive to ensure its full protection to all our clients.
Whether you are not being paid a fair amount of your work, or have not been properly paid after work ended, contact a Tennessee wage theft lawyer today. Together we can fight to get you the fair pay earned for your hard work and dedication.