Employer withholding wages because of retaliation

I worked as a caregiver for 3 years. I was dismissed because of my involvement in calling CPS on my employer. Now I havent not received my check and when I text or call her it is ignored. I called the company in charg of my paycheck and they said that I have to speak to her about it. What can I do if she will not communicate with me? The total unpaid amount is about $1000

Houston, TX -

Attorney Answers (2)

Stanley P. Santire

Stanley P. Santire

Employment / Labor Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

You might have a wrongful discharge claim and perhaps even one for whistle-blowing. Most states protect employees against retaliation due to reports to a government agency such as CPS. (By CPS I presume you mean Child Protection Services.) Terminating for such a report can be wrongful. If you are an employee and not an independent contractor, also sounds like a violation of both Federal and State wage laws. If you are in Texas, it is a violation of the Texas Payday Act and you can contact the Texas Workforce Commission. Their phone number is 800-252-3642. If you are not in Texas, every state has a similar state agency. It is also possibly a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a Federal law. Therefore, you can also contact the Federal Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division. However, the DOL is short on resources. Of course, you can also take the matter up with a lawyer. If he or she determines that you definitely are an employee, instead of an independent contract, the lawyer can seek payment on the chance of being paid by the employer in that laws that protect wages provide for payment of attorney fees if the employee is successful. Much abuse occurs by employers who treat people as independent contractors when they are actually employees. Much stronger protections exist for employees than for independent contractors.

James M. Osak

James M. Osak

Employment / Labor Attorney - Madison Heights, MI
Answered

SUE HER!
You MAY have a "wrongful discharge" claim
against her. Check with a TX attorney re:
your status ("caregiver") to see what you
can sue for. If worse comes to worse . . .
you can always sue her in small claims
court for the $1000 PLUS costs ans interest.
Good luck!

THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL... more

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