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How can I get Labor Ready to finish paying me for a prevailing-wage job for which they only paid minimum wage?

Seattle, WA |

I worked for Labor Ready (day labor) for one day as a "slurry-man" for a crew cutting concrete on a municipal road project. The young inexperienced supervisor had forgotten to tell his office to request a worker at "prevailing wage", but he *did* check the box on the time sheet at the end of my shift.

After the job was done, Labor Ready said that I could accept a minimum wage payment for that day, and that they would pay me the remaining amount (basically 3 times what I'd already received) "later". I had no real choice but to accept.

I was told I might be paid on the following day, (or the next, or the next) but it's been two weeks and they still haven't paid me.

Do I have any recourse for getting paid the amount that is owed to me? Is there an effective way to file a complaint?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

If you have proof that Labor Ready agreed to pay you prevailing wage for the day, you can attempt to file a claim against them in small claims court. If it is a willful violation of the wage statute, you can request to be awarded three times the amount they actually owe you as damages pursuant to the statute. Small claims court is for disputes in amounts of up to 5000 dollars, and you cannot usually have an attorney represent you there. Good luck.

This answer is for general information purposes only and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

Stephen M. Bergman

Stephen M. Bergman

Posted

I apologize, but I meant to say ask for "two times" the amount you are owed, not three times. The wage statute allows for an award of double damages for willful violations.

Posted

It is difficult to determine exactly what is occurring. Is this a problem on Labor Ready's end or the crew working the project? Is the public works crew reporting a higher rate, charging the state, then only paying you and Labor Ready a small portion? There are many problems with this scenario as you pointed out, I just don't know who to point fingers at.

There is a complaint process. I would encourage you to review the information at: http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/PrevWage/WageRates/WageComplaint/default.asp

lf you still have questions regarding your pay, and you have not received it, you should contact an attorney familiar with prevailing wage issues.

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