The Case of Underpaid Employee

We see all types of cases each year, but here is a brief summary of a case we handled recently. 

A young woman began working for a new clothing company that opened shop in town. The business was small, only three or four employees, and the young woman worked there for six months and received only two months of pay in that time. Later, the owner let her go saying he was reducing the store hours and needed just one employee. Without a job, the employee demanded her back wages, but the owner continued to stall her saying he would get it next month. The next month would come and he said the same thing. Eventually, the young woman decided to hire us to help her get the pay she had earned.  

We started by sending an official notice to the owner that the wages were past due, and that if he did not turn them over by a certain date, we would file an official lawsuit. He did not meet the deadline, so we filed. The owner disagreed with how much was owed to the employee, so the case went to a bench trial, meaning the case was presented only to a judge and not a jury.  Thankfully, the employee had saved her W-2 forms, her initial notice of hire that indicated her salary, and her schedules, so this helped us prove what she was owed. The whole case took a matter of a few hours, and the judge ruled that the employee was to receive the originally stated amount and that the owner had just 60 days to pay it. The employee did get her money and eventually found another job.