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Employment Law: What if I my employer fails to pay my wages?

It probably happens more often than most people think. Several recent clients have inquired about what options they have if their employer fails to pay their wages. The simplest option is to simply ask the employer why you haven’t been paid. Make sure you document your employer’s response and get any pertinent records you can obtain. For example, if you paycheck bounces make sure you hold onto the check and the check stub.

Should the employer fail or refuse to pay the employee, the employee should proceed with contacting the Indiana Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and complete an Application for Wage Claim. This application can be completed online. If you have any attorney, the attorney can handle the claim process for you.

The Indiana Code provides the following two processes for: (1) employees who are currently employed with the employer; and (2) employees who have terminated.

Employees who have been involuntarily separated from employment (laid off or fired) must file a wage claim with the Indiana Department of Labor before proceeding to file a civil lawsuit to recover wages.

An employee who is still employed or separates from employment voluntarily (quits) may either file a wage claim or file a private lawsuit to seek recovery of wages.

Additional resources provided by the author

The Indiana wage claim form may be completed online at http://www.in.gov/dol/2734.htm, by visiting the Indiana Department of Labor office or by printing the form from the Indiana Department of Labor website.

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