If I file a "wage claim" with the OK DOL, do they only recuperate lost wages up to min. wage standard of $7.25 like US DOL?

Asked 7 months ago - Oklahoma City, OK

I was going to file a wage claim with US DOL to recuperate wages that were being illegally withheld, but when I talked to US DOL they said, though it is illegal to withhold the wages, that they could only recuperate lost wages up to the US min. wage standard ($7.25/hr) and not the total hourly pay rate I have in my employment contract($12.00/hr). That sounds like employers can withhold as much money as they want as long as they are paying you $7.25.. I bit of a scammers loop-hole if you ask me.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Matthew James O'Laughlin

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . That's correct, the DOL is only authorized to recover minimum wages and overtime compensation. In my experience, they will typically not push as hard to recover as much in wages as a private wage and hour attorney. The other advantage of hiring a private attorney (most of whom will work on a contingent-fee basis) is that they can go after the remaining difference between the minimum wage and your hourly pay rate. Also, bear in mind that as a private attorney, if they are successful in recovering your minimum wages, the employer will have to pay their reasonable attorney's fees. That fee-shifting provides more leverage for a higher settlement.

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