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You File a Wage Claim. Your Employer Retaliates.

October 9, 2020 Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages

It’s Illegal Under the FLSA

If your paycheck is smaller than you expected, your employer may be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The FLSA establishes the federal minimum wage, as well as nationwide rules for when qualifying employees should be paid overtime. Your employer may be miscalculating what they owe you or withholding funds illegally under this law.

What Should You Do Next?

When you suspect your employer isn’t paying what they owe you under the terms set out by the FLSA, you have options. The first step you should probably take is to follow your employer’s internal system for filing complaints.

If the issue is unintentional, this should be enough to alert your employer to the problem so they can see it rectified.

If it isn’t rectified, you can make an administrative wage claim with the US Department of Labor—or sue your employer in court, either at the state or federal level. Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for taking these actions.

What if Your Employer Retaliates Against You Anyway?

Under the FLSA, it’s illegal for employers to punish employees for standing up for their rights.

Retaliation can be defined as any negative action an employer takes against you for engaging in a legally protected activity, such as filing a wage claim, formally testifying about wage issues in court, or making an informal complaint.

Some examples of retaliation include:

  • Firing you, demoting you, or taking away job duties
  • Cutting your pay or benefits
  • Taking away earned vacation time
  • Preventing you from taking advantage of professional development
  • Negative performance reviews or nitpicking micromanagement
  • Singling you out for criticism
  • Abusive speech, comments, or behavior that makes the workplace hostile

Even if it turns out your employer did not violate the FLSA, they are not legally allowed to retaliate against you for filing your wage claim. No matter the outcome, you are entitled to file a formal or informal complaint if it’s done in good faith.

What To Do if You Are the Target of Retaliation

If you believe your employer has been targeting you for retaliation because you filed a wage claim under the FLSA, you should talk to a lawyer.

A knowledgeable employment lawyer can assess the situation and determine the best strategy for protecting your rights and recovering what you’re owed. We have helped hundreds of clients recover lost wages and hold their employers accountable, and we can help you, too.

Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today.

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.