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What if My Employer Refuses to Pay me?

When you leave a job in West Virginia, whether you quit with notice, quit without notice or were fired, your employer has to pay you for hours worked. But what if your employer hasn't paid you in the time allowed, and wont' return phone calls, emails or see you in person?

Depending on how you left your position, your employer has until the date of your next regular payday to pay youfinal wages when you leave a job. If they don't pay up, you have a few avenues of recourse.

  • Send a letter to your employer. Before you take further action, you need to send a letter to your employer so that they know you are serious about getting your pay. You may also need proof for court that you made a formal request for your paycheck. This can be accomplished by sending your letter with a Return Receipt.
  • File a claim. The West Virginia Division of labor has a free form you can fill out to file a claim for lost wages. The form needs to be notarized before you can submit it. Many banks and credit unions will have notaries available free for members, or you can look for one online.
  • Go to your union. Union members will have more bargaining power than non-members. Contact your union representative for help getting your pay.
  • Go to court. If you are a low-wage worker, you may be able to get free legal help, and if not, you can request lawyers' fees be paid by your employer if you win your claim.

If you are an independent contractor you can't file a wage claim, but you can take your employer to small claims court for the money you are owed. If you can prove that you were wrongly classified as an independent contractor just so your employer could avoid worker protection laws, you may also be able to sue for back pay, worker's comp or other benefits.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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